Kentucky’s preliminary unemployment rate fell to 10.9% in September, which was down from 11.2% in August, the Office of Employment and Training said Tuesday.

The OET said September’s jobless rate is still 4% higher than the unemployment rate of 6.9% recorded in September of 2008.

“The drop in the unemployment rate reflects individuals who have faced long-term unemployment becoming discouraged and dropping out of the labor force,” said the OET’s chief labor market analyst, Justine Detzel. A decrease of 14,600 jobs in September brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,758,600. Since September of last year, its nonfarm employment has plummeted by 86,400 jobs.

While the state has recorded 19 months of job losses since the recession began in December 2007, its construction sector added 400 positions in September.

“This is the first increase in the number of jobs in the construction sector since April 2009, reflecting the start of multiple commercial and public works construction projects,” Detzel said.

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies, and state-owned hospitals, lost 6,400 jobs — the largest loss of any sector in September.

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