National, state and local numbers seem to indicate unemployment is improving both in Grayson County and nationwide.
According to recently released jobless rates from Kentucky’s Office of Employment and Training, unemployment in Grayson County was at 9.8 percent for September — down from 10.6 percent in August, and down from 11.7 percent in September 2011.
According to the OET report unemployment rates dropped in 108 counties in September, worsening only in 12.
National unemployment numbers, released early Friday, indicated total “non-farm” employment had increased by 171,000 jobs in October, with the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent.
That job growth is slightly higher than the 2012 average growth of 157,000 per month, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau also revised August job growth upward from the reported 142,000 to 192,000, and job growth for September was also revised upward from 114,000 to 148,000.
While the picture is better for Grayson County, it’s not rosey when compaired to the seven other counties in the Lincoln Trail district. Grayson County had the highest unemployment rate, followed by Meade County at 9.1 percent and Washington County at 8.3 percent.
According to a report Leitchfield/Grayson County Industrial Recruiter Dudley Cooper gave the city council last month, jobs in the city’s industries and major employers grew in the past year. After climbing to 3,153 in September 2011, employment numbers fell to 3,086 in December, then began slowly rising again to reach 3,221 by this September.
Among the employers showing growth, according to his report, were MTD and Plastikon.
In fact, plastics-related employment is growing across the Lincoln Trail district, leading Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s Workforce Solutions department to offer a plastics processing course starting in January 2013.
Workforce liaison Alfreda Weedman said the 22 credit hours course will lead to a certificate, and will prepare students for entry-level positions in the plastics processing industry.
She said they decided to offer the course after noting how many plastics-related firms have started, relocated or expanded in the 11 counties the college serves.
After conversations with the employers, they determined a need existed for the class. Maysville Community and Technical College offers a plastics certificate class, and ECTC won approval to use similar class offerings.
Weedman said students can register for the classes — which will be offered at the Elizabethtown campus —through the college.