Mar 21, 2016 10:05 AM EDT

Kentucky State Unemployment Rate 5.8 Percent, California 5.5 Percent

A recent report from the Office of Employment and Training of Kentucky revealed that the state's seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate on February remained at 5.8 percent.

February's preliminary jobless rate of the state was 0.5 percentage points higher than the 5.3 percent rate recorded in the same month last year, according to a state news release.

Based on data from the U.S. Labor Department, the seasonally adjusted jobless rate of the country for the same month remains at 4.9 percent. These statistics were taken from the estimates of the Current Population Survey of households.

The figures are used to determine the trends and not only to count the number of people employed. These numbers include the jobs of the self-employed and those in the agricultural sector.

Kentucky's total civilian labor force in February was 1,975,329, with 11,942 individuals added to the state's workforce compared to January. The number of unemployed individuals rose by 128 and total employment increased by 11,814.

Almost the same percentage points were experienced in California. The state's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in February. This figure sustained a slight downward trend, but it remained higher than the national average.

The Golden State has added more jobs than Kentucky, with 39,900 in the non-farm sector, based on a business survey used by the Employment Development Department.

The state agency also said that a similar but smaller poll indicated that almost 18 million Californians were employed in February, an increase of 62,000 from the previous month.

"The jump in the unemployment rate is almost paradoxical. As the job market improves, more and more people start entering the labor market in search of employment," said Manoj Shankar, an economist of the Kentucky OET.

"The new entrants, however, may not have the skills necessary to land a job. During this period of job search, they are unemployed and that drives up the unemployment rate," he added.

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