Several large U.S. corporations announced massive lay-offs nationwide this week. About 55,000 jobs were lost in a single day. It’s not yet clear whether any of those losses will come from Kentucky. What is clear is that the most recent unemployment statistics here show little improvement. State labor market analyst Justine Detzel says the construction and manufacturing industries have been hardest hit. But the health care sector actually added jobs in December 2008. And so did the leisure and hospitality sectors.
“There is still some turnover in the industry. So in the last month there were a few restaurants that opened which helped to push up the numbers from the prior month. But over the year it did lose 3,300 jobs,” says Detzel.
Kentucky’s jobless rate climbed to 7.8 percent in December. That’s the highest rate in more than 20 years, up nearly a percentage point from November 2008.