Butler County Feeling Sumitomo's Departure

By: Heath Myrick
By: Heath Myrick

The closure of Morgantown's Sumitomo Plant is ultimately responsible for the county's new unemployment figures. The Department of Employment Services ranks Butler County third among Kentucky's counties, with an unemployment rate of 10 percent.

The plant's closure sent more than 700 people looking for new jobs. County leaders say they are actively pursuing new industry. While job hunting, some of those given pink slips are attempting to further their education.

Since many of Sumitomo's jobs went South to Mexico, the Workforce Investment Act entitles former employees to financial assistance if they choose to further their education. Daymer College is just one of two colleges that have moved in since the plant's departure. Currently, Daymar has several adults participating in classes. The college is anticipating nearly 100 students to enroll this November.

Kentucky falls just below the national unemployment average of 5.7 percent for the month of August.

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Kentucky Unemployment

  • Unemployment rates fell in 84 Kentucky counties between August 2001 and August 2002, rose in 32 and remained the same in four counties, according to the Department for Employment Services, a Cabinet for Workforce Development agency.

  • Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate in August was 5.2 percent.

  • In August 2002, four counties had jobless rates at or above 10 percent, while six counties recorded double-digit rates in August 2001.

Unemployment Rates by Selected Counties

  • Woodford County 2.3 percent
  • Bracken County 2.4 percent
  • Oldham County 2.5 percent
  • Jessamine County 2.5 percent
  • Franklin County 2.7 percent
  • Campbell County 2.9 percent
  • Cumberland County 3.0 percent
  • Gallatin County 3.0 percent
  • Marion County 3.0 percent
  • Fayette County 3.1 percent
  • Garrard County 3.1 percent
  • Henry County 3.1 percent
  • Calloway County 8.0 percent
  • Allen County 8.2 percent
  • Nicholas County 8.2 percent
  • McCreary County 8.3 percent
  • Carter County 8.5 percent
  • Clay County 9.4 percent
  • Butler County 10.0 percent
  • Letcher County 10.0 percent
  • Harlan County 10.0 percent
  • Magoffin County 10.8 percent

Source: http://www.desky.org/ (Kentucky Department of Employment Services Web site) contributed to this report.

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