Kentucky’s unemployment rate rose to 7.9% in October from 5.2% in September and 4.3% a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic continued to affect businesses.

The national rate was 6.9%.

The state said 62,809 people entered the workforce in October.

Of that number, 24,752 found jobs and 38,057 were added to the unemployment rolls.

The hard-hit leisure and hospitality segment added 3,600 jobs in October.

But it’s still down 12,100 jobs from a year ago.

Kimberly-Clark picked up a permit last week for a $1.4-million foundation for a building at 601 Innovative Way.

• On a related note, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 29.5% of Kentucky businesses have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

• Macy’s pulled out of Owensboro earlier this year.

But the company is still struggling.

It reported last week that it lost $91 million in the third quarter.

• President-elect Joe Biden says he wants a national $15 an hour minimum wage.

And Starbucks said last week that it is moving in that direction.

The company said all employees will receive raises of at least 10% in December.

• Airlines are struggling this fall.

Just as the busy holiday traveling season kicks off, the pandemic is spiking again.

Airlines reported recently that they have lost more than $20 billion this year.

And passenger loads are running at about one-third of the old normal.

• The national hospitality industry is still struggling.

Figures released last week show the national occupancy rate was 43.2% — down 32.7% from a year ago.

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