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Kentucky Jobless Rate Edged Upward In December

Kentucky’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, but was still lower than December 2009. The jobless rate last month rose to 10.3 percent, up slightly from November’s 10.2 percent. But the rate in December 2009 was 10.6 percent. Labor officials say extremely cold and wintry weather caused construction jobs to plummet, and contraction in financial activities was blamed on the slowdown in the housing market. Sectors seeing job increases last month were temporary help agencies, professional and business services, repair and maintenance and retail trade. Showing job declines were leisure and hospitality, real estate and leasing, educational and health services, government, mining and logging. One-point-eight million Kentuckians were working last month, but 214,000 remained out of work. The national jobless rate in December was 9.4 percent.