Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for July hit 11% mark, the highest since August 1983 when it was 11.1%, according to the Office of Employment and Training in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The jobless rate was 6.5% in July 2008.

The U.S. adjusted jobless rate fell to 9.4% in July from 9.5% in June, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

An increase of 600 jobs in July brought Kentucky’s nonfarm employment to a seasonally adjusted total of 1,775,000. Since July 2008, its nonfarm employment has plummeted by 83,500.

“The increase in Kentucky’s nonfarm employment in July 2009 is indicative of employees at a major manufacturer returning to work after a layoff, and does not reflect the creation of any new jobs,” chief labor market analyst Justine Detzel said in a release. “However, the pace of layoffs and the economic downturn are moderating.”

“This marks the 17th month in a row of year-over-year employment decreases and the second largest year-over-year drop on records dating back to January 1990,” she added. “Since the start of the recession in December 2007, nonfarm employment in Kentucky has dropped by 97,400 positions.”

According to the data, the manufacturing sector gained 3,300 jobs in July.

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