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February 26, 2014

New report gives latest education, employment data

County statistics compared to state, national averages

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) last week released the Kentucky County Profiles 2014-15. The report is a comprehensive collection of the most current economic, social, education and employment data available about each of Kentucky’s 120 counties, as well as breakouts of each of the state’s Area Development Districts, Workforce Investment Areas, Appalachian and Non-Appalachian regions.

     KCEWS compiled and produced the report from statistics in the Kentucky Longitudinal Data System and a variety of federal, state and independent data sources in order to help state and local policymakers and others have easy access to critical information about their regions.

The report includes a breakdown of regional demographics, educational attainment, college readiness, employment by sector, education pipeline, college enrollment, college financial aid information and more. It includes the following information about McCreary County:

    • Regional Demographics — McCreary County’s population is 18,069. Our median household income is $21,758 while the per capita income is $12,213 — both roughly half the state averages ($42,610 and $23,210 respectively). Nearly 31 percent of McCreary Countians live in poverty. Our unemployment rate, 13.3 percent, is a full five points above the state and national averages of just over eight percent.

    • College/Career Readiness — While only 29.1 percent of local high school graduates are ready for college compared to 49.4 statewide, the percentage of local graduates ready for a career — 20.4 — exceeds the state average of 11.8 percent.

    • Educational Attainment — The report indicates that 31.5 percent of McCreary adults have a high school diploma/GED; 35.6 percent do; 18.8 percent have some college; 7.2 percent completed an Associate’s degree; three percent have a Bachelor’s; and 3.8 percent have a post-graduate degree.

    • Employment — Most McCreary Countians are employed in the public sector (government or education) at 37.4 percent followed by Health at 28.4 percent, Utilities/ Transportation at 17.9 percent and Manufacturing/Construc-tion at 10.3 percent.

 One of the most significant changes since the last county profile report was released in 2012 is the addition of comparison information between Kentucky’s Appalachian and Non-Appalachian regions.

 “This new report highlights some of the problems facing our Appalachian counties,” said Charles McGrew, who heads up KCEWS. “For example, adults in Appalachian Kentucky are nearly twice as likely to have less than a high school diploma and only half as likely to have a bachelor’s degree or above than their non-Appalachian counter-parts.”

 Visit the KCEWS website at http://www.kcews.ky.gov to obtain a copy of the full report.

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