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Beshear: Kentucky’s unemployment rate is the lowest in state history

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Published: May. 19, 2022 at 6:53 PM CDT
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KENTUCKY (WFIE) - Kentucky’s unemployment rate is lower than it’s ever been, Governor Andy Beshear says.

He’s reporting a 3.9% unemployment rate in the commonwealth.

And now, Kentucky leaders have a bit of a new problem on their hands.

“The commonwealth of Kentucky just posted the lowest unemployment rate in state history,” Beshear said.

Kentucky saw a year of substantial economic development, which brought thousands of new jobs.

1500 jobs are open just in Hopkins County. Economic Development President Ray Hagerman says it’s been tough to meet the demand.

“We posted 90 new jobs last week on our Hopkins County Jobs website – 90 new jobs,” said Hagerman. “You gotta catch up as quick as you can.”

Hagerman calls it a “problem of prosperity” with more jobs open than there are people searching for work.

“When you have this many jobs that have been created, you’ve got to do something to fill those jobs,” Hagerman said.

He says communities need to start getting creative about attracting new people to the area to fill those spots.

“How do we make sure we have enough infrastructure? How do we make sure we have enough housing? And how do we enhance our quality of life experiences?” Hagerman asked.

Hagerman says handling this development will have its own challenges.

“There’s going to be some growing pains, no doubt about it,” he said. “We’re going to see a lot of construction, we’re going to see a lot of people who are upset because they have to sit in traffic.”

Experts saw this coming, and now communities need to work to get ahead.

“Even if it takes us two or three years to get where we need to be, at least we’re starting,” Hagerman said.

Beshear says even more job openings will be coming as Kentucky is now a hub for electric vehicle battery production and agricultural technology.

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