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Ky. Recovery A Tale Of Two Economies

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The commonwealth’s uneven recovery from the 2008 economic downturn continues, according to the Kentucky Chamber’s senior economic advisor.

When it comes to job added, Lexington, Louisville, Bowling Green, Hopkinsville, and Northern Kentucky regions remain the relative success stories – helping fuel growth that put the state 20,000 jobs ahead of where it stood at the height of the last economic expansion in 2007.

Other less-populated regions lag behind, however. The chamber’s Dr. Paul Coomes says one particular statistic stands out.

"It's striking to me to see the dramatic regional difference in Kentucky in terms of the percentage of the adult population that's employed," he told reporters in a conference call. "I think this is an often overlooked statistic. We spend a lot of time reporting and yakking about unemployment rate, which I don't think is near as interesting as this."

On that score, Kentucky isn’t keeping up with the national average of 58 percent. In hard-hit mountain communities still reeling from coal industry declines, as few as a quarter of adults are employed.

In all, 56 counties – mostly rural – lost jobs over the past six years.

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