Region shows slight improvement in jobless figures

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

January 31, 2014

Floyd County saw some improvement in December jobless figures released by the state Office of Employment and Training this week, improving by half a point over November.

Floyd County’s unemployment rate in December came in at 10.9 percent, a drop from 11.4 percent the previous month and an even bigger improvement from the 12.1 percent reported in December 2012.

Statewide, the unemployment figure was reported as 7.4 percent, an improvement over both the previous month (7.8 percent) and previous year (7.9 percent). The national rate is 6.5 percent.

Two surrounding counties continued to lag the rest of the state, despite marginal improvement. Magoffin County had the second-highest unemployment rate in the state in December, at 15.6 percent, trailing only Leslie County’s 15.7 percent. Magoffin improved only slightly from the previous month’s 15.7 percent, but is still well ahead of the December 2012 figure of 17.3 percent.

Knott County, meanwhile, had the fifth-highest rate in the state, at 13.7 percent. That was down from 14 percent in November and 14.4 percent in December 2012.

Johnson County continues to post the best unemployment rate in the region, coming in at 9.3 percent last month. That number was an improvement over the 9.7 percent rate in November and 9.6 percent in December 2012.

Rounding out the region, Pike and Martin counties posted identical 10.5 percent rates, after posting identical 10.6 percent rates in November.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military 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.