A state economist says an uptick in the Kentucky unemployment rate is no reason for alarm. Kentucky's jobless average for March stood at seven point nine percent. It increased one tenth of a percentage point in both February and March.
Manoj Shanker with the State Office of Employment and Training says a slight increase in unemployment should not prompt any major economic concerns. He says the recessionary period a few years ago seems to have been resolved, "During the recovery phase, which has been going on for three years, it's been not really a jobless recovery but the recovery's been more in capital investment and not so much in new employment.”
Despite the recent increase, the March jobless rate was almost a half percentage point lower than a year ago. Still, Shanker says the Commonwealth's workforce has been shrinking more than that of some other states, "The baby boomers turned 65, the first wave, in 2011 and they've been aging ever since. The tendency is, when you're in your late 60's or 70's, to leave the labor force and that's happening in Kentucky and around the nation, but a little bit faster in Kentucky because our demographics are such," added Shanker.
The U.S. unemployment rate for March remained unchanged at six point seven percent.