Trigg County’s unemployment rate as of February was at 15.3 percent, and is tied with Cumberland County for the seventh highest unemployment rate in the state, the workforce cabinet’s most recent statistics indicated. It had been 7.2 percent in February 2008.
Debbie Birdsong at the Career Solutions Center on Hospitality Lane in Cadiz said the unemployment rate will probably only get worse, and cited the Friday, March 27, closing of the Johnson Controls Inc. plant as an example.
Birdsong estimated that 60 employees at the JCI plant remained when the plant, which opened in the 1960s and produced seats for Nissan and Honda vehicles, closed permanently, but added there were still some people there on a volunteer basis to complete any unfinished tasks.
“There just aren’t very many places for them (the unemployed) to go,” said Birdsong.
When some workers made as much as $17 an hour at JCI, they can make more on unemployment than they can doing farm work, although they lose their insurance on unemployment, according to Birdsong.
Menifee County had the highest unemployment rate in the state in February, at 18.9 percent, followed by Bath County at 18.2 percent, Jackson County at 16.7 percent, Powell County at 16.2 percent, Magoffin County at 15.8 percent and Grayson County at 15.4 percent, the workforce cabinet stated.
Fayette County had the lowest rate in the state, 7.4 percent, followed by Boyd County at 7.7 percent, Oldham County at 8 percent, Pike County at 8.1 percent, Boone County at 8.3 percent, Campbell and McCracken Counties at 8.5 percent, Calloway County at 8.6 percent and Franklin and Greenup Counties at 8.7 percent.
The national unemployment rate as of February was 8.9 percent, although it has reportedly increased since then.
“Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working,” said Kim Saylor Brannock of the KEWDC.
Civilian workforce statistics include non-military workers as well as unemployed residents who are actively seeking work, but don’t include unemployed residents who haven’t sought employment within the past four weeks, Brannock said.
The civilian labor force changed little in the county, as it went from 6,576 in January to 6,590 in February. The number of those employed also changed little, going from 5,552 in January to 5,580 in February. The number of those that are unemployed went from 1,024 to 1,010, according to the workforce cabinet’s numbers.
The statistics that were released last Wednesday are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between national, state and county figures, added Brannock.