Jefferson County’s Unemployment Rises, State’s Falls — But What About UPS-DHL?

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(above famous photo by Margaret Bourke-White swiped from www.masters-of-photography.com)

Business First Louisville is reporting that unemployment in Jefferson County and some surrounding counties rose in April:

Unemployment rates in Jefferson and neighboring counties were up in April, compared with April 2007.

The unemployment rate in Jefferson County increased to 5.5 percent in April, from 5.1 percent a year earlier. It was 5.8 percent in March, the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training said in a news release.

Bullitt County’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.5 percent from 5 percent a year earlier, while Oldham County’s rate increased to 4.6 percent from 4.2 percent and Shelby County’s rate increased to 4.9 percent from 4.1 percent during the same period.

Woodford County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, while Jackson County was the highest, with 10.6 percent.

The state’s April year-over-year unemployment rates were up in 67 counties, down in 47 counties, and remained the same in six counties, the OET said in the release.

However, the Courier-Journal reports that the overall Kentucky unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent (from a Business round-up):

Kentucky’s unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent last month, the state Office of Employment and Training said yesterday.

The March rate was revised to 5.7 percent and the April 2007 rate was 5.5 percent, the state said. Short-term layoffs accounted for more than half of the 3,400 job losses last month, the state said.

“Even though the job climate is weak, Kentucky’s economy is showing some resilience,” said Justine Detzel, the office’s chief labor market analyst.

The government sector, which includes public education, public administration agencies and state-owned hospitals, added 1,500 positions in April. The manufacturing sector lost 2,600 jobs, mostly from the durable-goods sector.

So it’s not really clear what either news means, since of course Jefferson County is the most populous county in the state. Will Kentucky follow Jefferson’s lead? We’ll see. Meanwhile, the C-J is touting the possible UPSDHL deal as a boon for both economies, job-wise:

A planned deal for UPS to fly and sort packages in the United States for rival DHL would generate up to $1 billion more a year for UPS and result in more jobs for pilots and ground workers in Louisville, a company spokesman said yesterday.

“The majority of our air volume comes through Louisville,” home of the all-points UPS sorting hub, Worldport, “and this would be no different,” UPS spokesman Ken Sternad said.

Though it’s not yet clear how many jobs might be generated, Sternad said, “There’s no way we’re going to handle the anticipated volume without adding to our capacity. And that means people.”

“The exact breakdown of volume that we get from them will determine how much of it comes through Louisville,” he added, “but it’s safe to say that a large portion of it, likely the majority of it, would.”

Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson said the DHL-UPS agreement could provide “some real opportunities for Louisville.”

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One Response to “Jefferson County’s Unemployment Rises, State’s Falls — But What About UPS-DHL?”

  1. While more jobs at the hub are always good, they aren’t exactly the kind of wages you raise a family on. And they aren’t meant to be. they are meant to be a very decent wage for college-age kids and UPS provides kick-ass benefits. Yes, there are advancement opportunities, but that covers maybe 5% of the workforce.

    A massive investment in our local infrastructure would generate plenty of well-paying jobs and help the workers generate skills that are in high demand.

    Just one project on my wish list? At least one more lane in each direction for Gene Snyder.

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