WalletHub ranks Kentucky at bottom for jobs, state economies

Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A new study from WalletHub ranks Kentucky dead last for jobs and 46th when it comes to state economies.

These results come as Governor Beshear has touted Kentucky’s successful economic rebound from the pandemic.

“Our economy is set for lift off, and every day we are seeing more and more positive signs,” Gov. Beshear said last week.

Beshear said Kentucky’s post-pandemic economy is recovering at some of the best rates in the nation, but the study from WalletHub depicts otherwise.

“It used 35 different indicators of job market strength, opportunities, and a healthy economy. That ranges from everything from employment growth, annual income levels…just really the overall economic environment,” said Jill Gonzalez with WalletHub.

The study, released Wednesday, analyzed the last seven years of economics. It also looked at unemployment rates, which at one point in the pandemic, Kentucky led the nation with 33% of the labor force filing claims.

Meanwhile, just a couple weeks ago, Gov. Beshear announced several developments totaling 505 jobs and $273 million in investments.

“Fitch has been talking about how our economy is rebounding faster than most other states, and Moody’s has said we are recovering with gusto,” Gov. Beshear said.

But if Kentucky is seeing so much growth, why such a low ranking?

“I think if his briefings are looking at one piece of the puzzle, they could absolutely be accurate. But we’re really looking at a complete picture. So I think we’re taking a little bit more into account, and of course we’re not just looking at Kentucky. We’re comparing it to every other state,” Gonzalez said.

Neighboring West Virginia ranked 49th on the list, while Ohio was 30th and Tennessee was in the top-15.

It’s a comparison showing Kentucky may be at best recovering from short-term COVID-19 setbacks, but has room to grow to make up for years past.

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