Ky. unemployment rate for 2023 slightly higher than 2022

Published 10:52 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Kentucky’s annual unemployment rate for 2023 was 4.2 percent, an increase from 2002’s annual 4.0 percent rate, according to figures released Monday by the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Labor Cabinet.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ estimate of the number of employed Kentuckians for 2023 was 1,941,994, which was down 6,318 from the 1,948,312 employed in 2022.

The number of unemployed Kentuckians for 2023 was 84,269, up 2,307 from the 81,962 unemployed in 2022. There were 78,849 fewer individuals unemployed in 2023 than 10 years ago.

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In 2023, the estimated number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force was 2,026,263. This was down 4,011 from the 2,030,274 recorded in 2022, and down 29,632 from 10 years ago when the civilian labor force was 2,055,895.

The 2023 jobless rate in Kentucky was higher than 43 states, lower than four states, and equal to two states. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in 2023 at 5.1%. North Dakota had the lowest rate at 1.9%. Among its surrounding states, Kentucky’s unemployment rate was lower than Illinois and higher than Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

The U.S. annual unemployment rate was 3.6% in 2023, which was unchanged from 2022.

“Kentucky’s unemployment rate increased from 2022 to 2023 as fewer people reported being employed and more reported seeking work,” said University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) Director Mike Clark. “While the unemployment rate increased from 2022, it was still very low by historic standards. The annual estimates also indicate that after two years of workers returning to the labor force following the pandemic, the number of people participating in Kentucky’s labor force declined in 2023.”

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count the number of 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.