Report: Kentucky Employment Above Pre-Recession Peak

Dec 30, 2015

Credit Chris Potter - StockMonkeys.com / Flickr (Creative Commons License) (CC BY 2.0)

A new report is offering a snapshot of how Kentucky’s economy has fared since the end of the national recession. 

In a report prepared for the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, University of Louisville Economics Professor Paul Coomes says the Bluegrass State now has 20,000 jobs above it's pre-recession peak. 

Payrolls in five of the nine economic regions of the state grew by 20 percent or more since 2009. However, payrolls declined in the Mountain region by 13 percent. 

The dwindling coal industry is only partly to blame.  Professor Coomes says the loss of coal jobs is a long-term trend.

"Regardless of coal prices or regulations, mining has shedded jobs even while it added output for 20 or 30 years, and that's because of automation," states Coomes.

While Kentucky added jobs at a slightly slower pace than the national average since the recession, the commonwealth had a better growth rate than all border states, except Tennessee and Indiana.

The bright spot has been in manufacturing, which has seen jobs increase three times the national rate.