A new report from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce finds the commonwealth has added a lower percentage of jobs than the United States as a whole in the years following the most recent recession.
Kentucky’s employment jumped 5.6 percent since the recession’s worst month, June 2009. That’s compared to the overall 6.3 percent increase in the US.
Economist Paul Coomes compiled the report and said the Ashland and Mountain regions in eastern Kentucky have not recovered from the recession, but other areas made up the difference, lifting Kentucky’s employment recovery higher than all border states except for Tennessee and Indiana.
“It’s really the major urban areas and the Interstate 65, 75 corridors that are leading the way in jobs and in payroll," Coomes said. "Also, when you break it down into manufacturing, you see Louisville, northern Kentucky, Bowling Green having the fastest growth in jobs.”
The Paducah-Purchase region’s employment grew by 3.4 percent since June 2009, but saw a 5.4 percent reduction in manufacturing jobs. Coomes said job cuts at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant in McCracken County were only one factor that made the Paducah-Purchase region the only region to lose manufacturing jobs.
“What we saw was - across let’s say five or six counties in the Purchase region - they were all losing manufacturing employment," Coomes said. "So it wasn’t just one plant in one county. It was pretty pervasive. The fact that pay went up may be just a matter of working fewer people more hours. That would be my guess.”
Meanwhile, Carlisle and Webster County were among the top counties for net job growth, with Carlisle leading Kentucky with a 46 percent jump.
For the full report, click here.