The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has released a report detailing the state’s economic recovery following the 2007 recession.
The study, conducted by the Chamber’s Senior Economic Advisor Dr. Paul Coomes, looks at data from local fiscal reports and federal databases covering wage and salary growth, job growth and housing market indicators.
“It gives us very fresh evidence that the recovery is underway in this part of the country," said Coomes. "So you can see across all the major cities and largest counties, we’re getting now substantial job growth and wage and salary growth. Certainly the recovery is -- we’re several years into it and the housing marketing is stabilized -- it’s not booming, but we are documenting recovery.”
Coomes said the conditions are varied throughout the state, but some of the strongest areas of employment growth can be found in western and central Kentucky.
“In terms of job growth, we have data through November from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it shows Owensboro’s having the strongest job growth, a percentage bounced back from the recession, and a very steady growth, followed by Clarksville, Hopkinsville, Lexington, Elizabethtown and Bowling Green," said Coomes.
The report also shows that the most positive areas of economic recovery are counties home to active US military bases including Fort Campbell, Fort Knox and the Bluegrass Army Depot. Coomes said the growth is attributable to military funds spreading locally as federal defense spending increased since 2007.
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson said although the signs of recovery are encouraging, things still aren’t back to pre-recession conditions.
"We're still 34,000 jobs below the peak in 2007, that's the state-wide job number," said Adkisson. "So we've got more ground to make up and hopefully in 2014 we gain some momentum and you actually start seeing the economy build on itself and gets some steam behind it."
You can read the Chamber's economic report in its entirety here.