New statistics out today paint an improving picture on the job front as the Lexington metro area is home to the lowest unemployment rate in the state.
According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, the Lexington metro area's unemployment rate dropped more than a full percentage point to 6.2 percent in April compared to March.
The Lexington metro area includes Fayette, Bourbon, Clark, Jessamine, Scott and Woodford counties.
At 6.3 percent, the Owensboro metro area's unemployment rare was just slightly higher than Lexington's. With 7.8 percent unemployment, the Louisville metro area was the highest in the state. The April unemployment rates in the state's other metro areas included 7.6 percent in Elizabethtown and 6.8 percent in Bowling Green.
Nationwide, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits changed little last week, signaling modest job growth.
The Labor Department says that weekly applications for benefits dipped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000. Applications have leveled off this month after declining from April's five-month high of 392,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, has also dropped - it was 370,000 last week.
The lower level indicates hiring could pick up a bit in May from April's sluggish pace. When applications drop below 375,000 a week, it typically suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.