State’s economic system bettering, however nonetheless down | Information

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the University of Kentucky Center for Economic and Economic Research, recently published the first of a series of quarterly reports entitled “Kentucky’s Economic Recovery: A Quarterly Update on Workers, Employment, State GDP and Exports.”

It traces what the March coronavirus pandemic did for the state’s economy and how the recovery is emerging.

According to the report, the pandemic has “rocked the economy to the core”.

“Very quickly, Kentucky set a record for jobless claims with more than 591,000 claims in six weeks, small businesses closed, and our labor force participation rate fell to the lowest in the country,” it said.

• Kentucky’s gross domestic product rebounded in the third quarter of 2020 but was still below pre-pandemic levels.

• While employment declined 5.2% year over year in December, Kentucky recovered 65% of the jobs lost in the first few months of the pandemic.

• Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 6% in December 2020, down from 16.6% in April 2020.

• Kentucky’s employment rate, which was 59.6% just before the pandemic, fell to 57.5% in December 2020.

Ashli ​​Watts, President of the Kentucky Chamber, said, “Our economy will look different after the recovery as business areas have shifted and consumer habits have evolved. At a time of such transition, we must ensure that Kentucky is a place that attracts growth, talent, and job creation that will guide us into the future. “

However, she said: “To achieve this, we must have a strong, well-educated and skilled workforce and a competitive economy. With state and state aid helping to keep the economy alive, the extent of the damage that has occurred over the past 11 months cannot be foreseen. “

Watts said, “We need to prioritize our economic recovery. We are confident these quarterly reports will keep an eye on the ball as we work towards a post-pandemic economy. “

“As the state’s economy improves, there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the pace of recovery,” said Michael W. Clark, associate professor of economics and director of the Center for Economic and Economic Research at the University of Kentucky at Gatton College of Business and Economics, in a press release.

He said, “Kentucky’s economy is still below pre-pandemic levels. The rate of further recovery will depend on the launch of the vaccine and building of consumer confidence. “

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“Screeching Stop”Watts said: “In February 2020 Kentucky’s economy was strong. We had record levels of job investment, record low unemployment and job creation was in full swing as we entered a new decade. Of course, all of that stalled in March when the COVID-19 pandemic crippled our economy. “

Clark said Kentucky lost more than 326,000 jobs last spring.

He said employment growth slowed in December after several months of spike “as the cold weather and reduced capacity for indoor restaurants caused restaurants and other hospitality businesses to cut their payrolls again.”

In 2019, Kentucky’s exports were $ 33 billion, which is 15% of the Commonwealth’s GDP.

Exports in April were down 55% year on year.

And in November they were still 18% lower than in November 2019.

According to the report, the Kentucky unemployment rate has fallen in recent months as companies recruited and fewer people were employed.

Before the pandemic, 59.6% of Kentuckians were employed.

In December it was 57.5% – the sixth lowest rate in the nation.

Many people are discouraged and have stopped looking for jobs, the report said.

Employment in the state fell by 100,900 jobs in December compared to the previous year.

The state’s leisure and hospitality sector saw the largest job losses – 92,700 jobs fell between December 2019 and April 2020.

However, the report states: “Historically low mortgage rates and the growing desire for more housing have fueled housing demand in Kentucky. However, supply has not kept pace with demand as families are reluctant to list their homes, possibly due to the increased uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and recession. “

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