For Kentucky, virtually every indicator of economic growth is moving in a positive direction right now. The states labor force is among the largest in history, there are more people employed than ever before, and individuals seeking unemployment has decreased by more than 60 percent since the heights of the Great Recession. Recent payroll data shows a continued positive trend with Kentucky on the right side of the bell curve in raw number of individuals added to payrolls and in month over month percentage increase.
Preliminary Bureau of Labor Statistics data from March to April, the most recently available data, shows that Kentucky added approximately 4,000 individuals to payrolls between the two months, a 0.2 percent from 1,947,300 to 1,951,300.*
Among neighboring states, only Missouri and Illinois experienced a higher percentage increase, with the "Show Me State" growing payrolls by just over 0.4 percent and Illinois at 0.339 percent. Fewer than half of all states had growth above 0.2 percent and only a handful of those that did are in the Southeast Region.
Tennessee added more individuals to payrolls than Kentucky (5,000), but had a slower percentage increase at 0.16 percent. Our neighbor to the north went in the opposite direction, seeing a decrease of about 3,500 between March and April, one of the steepest declines in the nation. Payroll figures are still up between April 2018 and April 2019 in both states, a statistic where Kentucky still trails both.
Between April 2018 and April 2019, payrolls in Tennessee increased by 1.693 percent, in Indiana by 1.234 percent, and 1.009 percent in Kentucky. In that time period, Kentucky construction payrolls increased 2.3 percent and manufacturing payrolls grew by over 1.5 percent.
An entire data sheet is available here.
*Preliminary numbers are subject to change when final data is released.