- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky officials say the state’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.5 percent in January and has fallen below the national jobless rate.

The national unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in January.

Manoj Shanker, an economist with the state Office of Employment and Training, said Thursday that figures show Kentucky’s jobless rate has been below the national rate for the past six months.

He says the last time Kentucky’s unemployment rate was below the national average for such an extended period was in 1995.

Kentucky officials say the state’s jobless rate in January matched the 5.5 percent rate in December and is down from a 7.5 percent rate in January 2014.

State officials say Kentucky’s manufacturing sector surged by 2,800 jobs in January 2015. Since January 2014, manufacturing employment has jumped by 9,000 jobs.

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