Kentucky Jobless Rate Edged Upward In December

Kentucky’s unemployment rate rose slightly in December, but was still lower than December 2009.

The jobless rate last month rose to 10.3 percent, up slightly from November’s 10.2 percent. But the rate in December 2009 was 10.6 percent.

Labor officials say extremely cold and wintry weather caused construction jobs to plummet, and contraction in financial activities was blamed on the slowdown in the housing market.

Sectors seeing job increases last month were temporary help agencies, professional and business services, repair and maintenance and retail trade.

Showing job declines were leisure and hospitality, real estate and leasing, educational and health services, government, mining and logging.

One-point-eight million Kentuckians were working last month, but 214,000 remained out of work. The national jobless rate in December was 9.4 percent.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.