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Kentucky's Preliminary Unemployment Rate Falls to 9.4 Percent

Kentucky’s preliminary unemployment rate has dropped over the past month to 9.4 percent, but still falls well behind the U.S. average.The nation’s 8.6 percent unemployment rate was celebrated as a significant sign of workforce improvement and Kentucky has made notable improvements, too. This time last year unemployment was at 10.2 percent, and sectors in the state that are growing offer well paying jobs, said Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Cabinet.“The higher areas like trade, transportation and utilities, which is one sector, professional and business services the second sector and educational healthcare services seem to be driving the growth in the employment, and those are areas we can expect to continue to grow,” Crouch said.This could be good news for the Louisville area, which includes universities that promote work in these sectors, he said. Not all areas have seen improvements this past year. Sectors including construction, real estate and business finance continue to fall.November numbers and rates are preliminary calculations. After the U.S. adjust its unemployment rate, it saw further improvements. That may be the case for Kentucky, said Couch.Louisville region data is expected to be released next week.Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet released the following information:The educational and health services sector grew by 1,300 workers in November 2011. The sector has gained 5,100 jobs since November 2010. This sector includes private and nonprofit establishments that provide either education and training or health care and social assistance to their clients.The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, recorded 600 more jobs in November 2011 than in October 2011. The sector had 4,700 fewer jobs than in November 2010.Employment in the other services sector, which includes such establishments as repair and maintenance businesses; personal and laundry services; religious organizations; and civic and professional organizations, was unchanged from October 2011 to November 2011. This sector had 500 fewer positions in November 2011 than November 2010. Construction sector jobs fell by 2,500 in November 2011. Since November 2010, employment in the construction sector has tumbled by 6,100 jobs.Kentucky’s manufacturing sector dropped by 1,700 jobs in November 2011. Since November 2010, employment in the manufacturing sector has climbed by 4,700 positions.The state’s leisure and hospitality sector lost 500 jobs in November 2011. Since November 2010, the sector has grown by 6,200 positions. The leisure and hospitality sector includes arts, entertainment and recreation, accommodations and food services, and drinking places industries.The information sector had 200 fewer jobs in November 2011. This segment, which includes firms involved in publishing, Internet activities, data processing, broadcasting and news syndication, has declined by 200 positions since November 2010.The financial activities sector decreased by 200 jobs in November 2011. This segment, which includes businesses, involved in finance, insurance, real estate and property leasing or rental, had 3,800 fewer positions than in November 2010.Employment in the mining and logging sector went down by 200 in November 2011. The number of jobs in the sector is the same as November 2010.