U.S. economy went through a troublesome period during pandemic times and it has badly impacted the employment patterns as well. However, in recent months the employment numbers have improved significantly and unemployment has reduced. Similarly, Kentucky’s employment rate also dropped to 4.7% in 2021 which is 1.7% lower compared to last year. Kentucky Center of Statistics released these numbers on Monday.

Improvement from 2020

There is a statewide reduction of 26.7% in the number of unemployed residents. The overall employment rate across United States fell to 5.3% in 2021 compared to 8.1% in 2020. The number of unemployed Kentuckians stood at 95, 205 in 2021 which is 34,598 less from 2020. In 2021, the estimated number of Kentuckians in the civilian labor force was 2,036,942. This was up 20,140 from the 2,016,802 recorded in 2020. However, it is 24,558 down from 10 years ago when the civilian labor force was 2,061,500.

Employment growth in leisure and hospitality

There are certain sectors who witnessed more job losses than other employment sectors. The current statistics are reflecting that those specific sectors have seen biggest job gains last year. The state’s leisure and hospitality sector was severely impacted by the advent of coronavirus and suffered massive employment losses. Moreover, it was a challenge for them to re-hire workers once that situation got better. But, Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector reported 16,300 new jobs last year. 14,000 of these new jobs were in accommodation and food services. The remainder of the jobs pertain to entertainment and recreation segment.

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    “The pandemic hit Kentucky’s leisure and hospitality sector hard in 2020. While employment in this sector is still below pre-pandemic levels, it has improved considerably during 2021 as consumers returned to restaurants and entertainment venues.” Mike Clark, director for the University of Kentucky’s Center for Business and Economic Research, in a statement.

    Other sectors employment

    Other sectors that reported job growth include the state’s trade and transportation utilities sector. It grew by more than 15,000 new positions. Professional services also added 11,500 jobs. Whereas, education and health services and manufacturing each grew by about 7,000 each.

    The state’s unemployment rate was nearly in the middle among all states. 25 states reported a lower annual rate last year. However, Kentucky’s rate was better than Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia’s. Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia. All these states reported lower annual unemployment rates.

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