FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX18) — Kentucky's unemployment rate has dropped to a record low, Governor Andy Beshear announced on Thursday.
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2022 unemployment rate was 3.9%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics. That's the lowest rate ever recorded since the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics began reporting state rates in 1976.
“Kentucky’s economy is absolutely on fire, and today’s report shows that continued success is benefiting Kentuckians across the commonwealth,” said Beshear.
“We’ve secured our spot as a leader by establishing Kentucky as the capital for electric vehicle battery production and agritech. But even more important, we’re building a Kentucky where our people can create a better life through great jobs, world-class education opportunities, quality health care, and strong infrastructure," Beshear added. "We’re not just talking about building a better Kentucky – we’re doing it.”
Not too long ago, when COVID-19 first hit Kentucky, the state - like many other places across the world - saw a record number of people applying for unemployment. Beshear believes "it's a blessing" that Kentucky has been able to rebound so quickly. However, he says he's not that surprised because he believes the post-covid economy will be different.
"With people not as focused on the coasts - people (are) giving Kentucky a second or third look," said Beshear. " I would've said last year - I thought we had a chance to jump ten state economies. I now think we have a chance to be a top-ten state economy.
Although KY has hit its lowest unemployment rate, at 3.9%, there are still areas of the state that struggle with jobs. Eastern KY is one of them.— Karolina Buczek (@Karolina_Buczek) May 19, 2022
Beshear admits more needs to be done to address the issue. @LEX18News pic.twitter.com/w9AfQBBId9
The Democratic Party of Kentucky believes the governor's ability to bring new jobs to Kentucky has contributed to the state's success.
“Gov. Beshear is the best jobs governor in Kentucky history. Period,” said KDP Chair Colmon Elridge. “Even while guiding Kentucky through two incredibly difficult years with deadly storms and the pandemic, Gov. Beshear has led the commonwealth into the greatest economic boom in our history, creating good-paying jobs in every corner of the commonwealth."
The Republican Party of Kentucky suggests Beshear is exaggerating Kentucky's economic success.
“Andy Beshear is right about one thing: the Biden-Beshear economy is definitely on fire,” RPK spokesman Sean Southard said. “Parents can’t find baby formula, the Dow is down 10% in the last month, and J.P. Morgan is predicting $6 a gallon gas nationwide this summer. Our labor force has 20,000 fewer people today than when Andy Beshear was elected. We’ve gotten national headlines for being a leader in people quitting their jobs. The economy is definitely on fire, and the Biden-Beshear agenda is responsible for putting a match to our wallets."