Several counties in our listening area continue to post unemployment rates below the statewide level. The January jobs numbers have been released by the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
Simpson County’s unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, as compared to the 8.3 percent mark for the state. County Judge Executive Jim Henderson says Simpson County has come a long way since 2008-2009, when the auto industry felt the effects of the recession.
“That pendulum swings both ways because, actually, automotive sales are now back at record levels and improving. That’s where some of that growth is occurring here is in the automotive industry," said Henderson. "But, diversification is really important for a community, so we’re not dependent on one sector of the economy to do well.”
A check of other counties in the area shows Warren County’s unemployment rate was at seven percent in January. Daviess county was at 6.9 percent. Edmonson and Muhlenberg counties were both above the statewide average at 11.7 and 10 percent, respecitvely.
The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training says jobless rates across the Bluegrass State have declined in the past year in 97 counties. However, the jobless rate increased last month to 8.3 percent. The figures are an indication of the uncertain outlook for employment.
Unemployment rates moved higher in 44 out of 50 states last month. The Associated Press reports that is the highest number of states to show an increase in unemployment in more than three years. Analysts say the numbers reflect weak hiring activity across the United States.