Gov. Beshear: Kentucky Sets New Historic Low Unemployment Rate

Booming economy drives April’s seasonally adjusted rate down to 3.7%

FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 18, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear said the state’s economy continues to boom as Kentucky set a new historic low unemployment rate of 3.7%. This is the first time a rate this low has ever been recorded in the commonwealth.

The seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2023 unemployment rate was released today by the Kentucky Center for Statistics. The preliminary April 2023 jobless rate was down 0.1 percentage points from March 2023 and from the 3.8% rate recorded for the state one year ago.

Just last month at this time, Gov. Beshear announced that Kentucky has set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history. In April, Gov. Beshear also announced that Kentucky has seen job growth over pre-pandemic levels, with nearly 46,000 more jobs in Kentucky than in February 2020.

“Our businesses and communities are thriving, and Kentuckians are working hard and providing for their families,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our record-breaking economy is what can happen when we put politics aside and focus on moving the state forward and doing what is best for all our families.”

The positive employment news follows an announcement by Gov. Beshear last week that his administration has secured the first-ever state-level credit rating upgrade from the major credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, which moved Kentucky’s rating up from AA- to AA. This is the first state-level credit rating increase Kentucky has received in 13 years, and it’s the first-ever state-level upgrade for Kentucky by Fitch.

The Governor said the increased confidence in Kentucky’s financial outlook will mean lower costs for taxpayers on the state’s investments in critical infrastructure projects – like roads, bridges and schools – which help move the state forward while helping our families.

Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced the creation of approximately 46,000 full-time jobs and more than 852 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling $28.89 billion in announced investments.

The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth.

In 2021, the commonwealth shattered every economic development record in the books. Private-sector new-location and expansion announcements included a record $11.2 billion in total planned investment and commitments to create a record 18,000-plus full-time jobs across the coming years.

That momentum continued strongly into 2022 with 248 new-location and expansion announcements totaling 16,000 full-time jobs behind nearly $10.5 billion in new investment.

The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.

Gov. Beshear also announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK Innovation celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. And in April 2022, the Governor was joined by leadership at Envision AESC to announce a $2 billion investment that will create 2,000 jobs in Warren County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.

Site Selection magazine placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.

Gov. Beshear’s administration is projected to post the four highest years of budget surpluses in Kentucky history, and the state’s rainy-day fund has a record balance of $2.7 billion.