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Kentucky Remains 8th Highest in United States in Unemployment Claims, Total Climbs to 14.3% of Workf

Today's unemployment data showed over 5 million more Americans filing for unemployment last week, bringing the four week total of new claims to over 22 million. Among the totals was an additional 115,763 Kentuckians making first time claims during the week ending on April 11th.

That total is just slightly lower than the 117,575 who made new claims during the previous week, but remains astronomically higher than historic norms, even during an economic downturn. For sake of context, during the week ending on March 14th, before economic shutdowns began, 2,785 Kentuckians filed for unemployment. The highest single week total for Kentucky during the Great Recession was 25,057.

According to data compiled by the Tax Foundation, Kentucky remains, as it was a week ago, 8th in the United States as a percentage of total workforce making claims, rising from 11.9% of the total workforce on unemployment to 14.3% today.

Among neighboring states, Indiana and Tennessee remain significantly lower as a percentage of total workforce with 8% and 8.4% on unemployment respectfully. Also continuing last week's trend, only Ohio joins Kentucky in double digits, with 13.3% of its total workforce currently on unemployment. The Bluegrass State remains the highest in the region.

Even as other states have established task forces to develop strategies on getting their populations back to work, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has yet to do so or to indicate any timeline on when Kentucky's economy might begin restarting. The Governor referenced coordination with Ohio and Indiana at his Wednesday news conference, just a day before Ohio Governor Mike Dewine announced that his state's economy would begin reopening on May 1st.

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