With the auto industry now adding jobs, Kentucky is seeing economic and employment gains. In addition to durable manufacturing (primarily in auto and food/beverage), government accounts for a strong share of the Kentucky job market and economy. With most communities reporting rising employment, Kentucky's 2.1 million workers are expected to see strong increases in job opportunities.
Kentucky Job Opportunities
As home to the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky is a renowned center for horse breeding and racing. The Bluegrass State's agricultural roots have led to a strong food and beverage manufacturing sector. The state is also strong in automotive manufacturing, with four major auto-assembly plants and more than 400 auto-related facilities.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector accounts for nearly 20 percent of employment in Kentucky. Government is also a key hiring industry. Most hiring sectors have recently shown employment expansion, with the exception of government and finance.
Kentucky Employment Trends
Since the depths of the recession, Kentucky job conditions have improved -- most notably in the first months of 2012. The state's unemployment rate, which peaked at 10.7 percent between mid-2009 and early 2010, began 2012 below 9 percent. This improvement is shown in total payroll numbers which, after constricting for nearly two years, expanded throughout 2011 and were even stronger at the beginning of 2012. Online hiring is also steadily improving, and is close to prerecession levels.
Moody's Analytics expects Kentucky jobs to increase by 1.9 percent between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013, higher than the 1.3 percent growth expected in the US job supply over that time.