2014 Saw Kentucky Economic Gains
2014 could go down as a "breakout" year for Kentucky's economy. Economists and workers in about every occupation imaginable were waiting for the effects of the "Great Recession" of 2008 to fade. State Economist Manoj Shanker says a significant uptick has happened over the past eleven months. Shanker says he has been expecting growth and recovery in the Kentucky labor market for the last two years, but it just hasn't happened. “This year, suddenly things aligned themselves just right, and it did take off," said Shanker.
Shanker says, as the national economy started to pick up, it signaled the start of an improving job market in the state. The economist says it's been seen in most all sectors except construction, which he says continues to lag.
He says Kentucky's automobile industry has played a significant role in the economic recovery, naming specific models made in Kentucky that have helped drive the Commonwealth's job market improvement. "It's the Ford trucks and the Camrys and the Avalons,” says Shanker. He says the auto industry has helped because it's not just manufacturing jobs, but everything that feeds into it. “The (auto industry) money just flows through the economy, so that means it helps other areas also," added Shanker.
The state economist says he thought Kentucky's recovery would come about a year ago but it was delayed primarily because the national recovery took longer than anticipated. ?