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Unemployment rate down in Letcher

A state agency reports that Letcher County’s unemployment rate has fallen more than a full percentage point during the last month, but has increased slightly from this time a year ago.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reports that Letcher County’s jobless rate for October was 6.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent in September. The rate fell because 18 more Letcher County residents (8,559) had jobs in October than in September (8,538). The number of county residents actively seeking employment during the same period fell from 737 to 614, however, meaning that 105 people who had formerly been looking for jobs did not seek employment within the past four weeks.

Four counties neighboring Letcher also had lower unemployment rates in October than in September.

In Perry County, 10,885 residents held jobs in October, dropping its unemployment rate from 7.3 percent to 6.1 percent . The jobless rate in Knott County fell from 7.2 percent in September to 6.0 percent in October, as 6,111 residents there had jobs.

Harlan County, with 9,534 people holding jobs, reported one of the region’s highest jobless rates in October at 9.1 percent, but still down from 10.3 percent in September. Pike County reported having 23,864 people with jobs in October, dropping its unemployment rate slightly from 6.6 percent to 6.4 percent.

Letcher, Harlan, Knott, Perry and Pike counties were five of 94 Kentucky counties where the unemployment rate rose between October 2006 and October 2007, according to the Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Education Cabinet.

The agency reports that unemployment rates dropped in 18 counties and remained the same in eight counties during the same period.

The state’s highest jobless rate is 10.2 percent in Jackson County. Fayette and Warren counties recorded the lowest jobless rate in the commonwealth at 3.7 percent each.

Other counties with low unemployment rates were Woodford County, 3.8 percent; Jessamine County, 3.9 percent; Scott County, 4 percent; Mason County 4.1 percent; and Boone, Clark, Franklin, Madison and Robertson counties, 4.2 percent each.

High jobless rates were also reported in Grayson County, 9.7 percent; Harlan County, 9.1 percent; Spencer County, 9 percent; Clay County, 8.9 percent; Magoffin County, 8.7 percent; Wolfe County, 8.4 percent; Owsley County, 8.3 percent; and Menifee and Morgan counties, 7.8 percent each.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include nonmilitary workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and counties figures.

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