Kentucky's Unemployment Rate

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090127/BUSINESS/90127027/

The Louisville Courier-Journal is reporting that Kentucky’s unemployment rate has reached a 20 year high of 7.8% (seasonally adjusted).

The article also quotes Justine Detzel, chief labor analyst for the state Office of Employment and Training, as saying that lost construction and manufacturing jobs are the key culprits among the 16,000 jobs lost in Kentucky between November and December.

I’ll post a follow up when Lexington’s numbers are available (probably a couple of weeks).

Cost of Living, 2008 Q4

The 2008 Q4 Cost of Living Index (COLI) numbers were in my inbox when I got to work this morning.

The highlights:

Lexington has inched up ever so slightly compared to the rest of the nation, with its total index score at 95.0, compared with 94.9 in Q3. To those unfamiliar with the COLI, it ranks cities against each other using an index of 100 as the average. So Lexington, at 95.0, is below the national average in terms of the cost of living.

All of the KY cities that participated in Q4 were below the national average.

Of the five cities that participate (Lexington, Louisville, Covington, Bowling Green and Paducah), only Bowling Green improved on their score (had a lower score) compared to Q3.

Cost of Living Index

One of the responsibilities of Commerce Lexington is participation in C2ER’s quarterly Cost of Living Index (COLI). We recently finished Q1 2009, which also happened to be my first experience with COLI as Research Director. It is quite a lot of work as 62 items have to be priced, most at multiple locations.

What I’ve Learned:

1. It truly does pay to shop around. Not only do prices for a variety of items vary from store to store, they also vary for the same store based on their location in Lexington. Next time you are trying to save a bit of money, do yourself a favor and call around ahead of time. This applies to everything from hamburgers to healthcare.

2. Apparently the title of

Recently Released Unemployment Rates

Kentucky’s OET (Office of Employment and Training) recently released the November unemployment figures for Lexington and the surrounding area. This amount of lag is typical. We should know the December numbers for Lexington in early to mid February. US numbers for December are scheduled to be released tomorrow.

All figures below are not seasonally adjusted.

Lexington-Fayette County: 4.8%
Lexington-Fayette MSA*: 5.1%
Kentucky: 6.6%
USA: 6.5%

*Fayette, Bourbon, Clark, Jessamine, Scott, and Woodford Counties