Fact✓Check | Campaign claims on jobs
WKYT looks into the state’s labor force and unemployment numbers.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - WKYT is continuing to Fact✓Check claims made on the campaign trail. One of the top issues, according to our Fact✓Check poll, is jobs.
The Attorney General doesn’t shy away from talking about job growth in the state. Daniel Cameron, the Republican challenger for the top state seat, would like to see more job growth and faster. He made a claim recently on ‘WKYT Newsmakers,’ criticizing the governor’s approach to getting people back to work.
“If you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are fewer people working in Kentucky now than when he took the oath of office,” notes Cameron. “Since 2019, when he took the oath of office, there are 27,000 fewer Kentuckians working.”
Let’s look closer at this claim.
Governor Andy Beshear took the oath of office in December of 2019.
WKYT pulled numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Kentucky Center for Statistics. Both show the unemployment rate was 4.1% then. The most recent numbers from both sources show the unemployment rate is actually lower right now - it’s 4%. That translates to 81,966 Kentuckians unemployed now. There were 84,184 Kentuckians unemployed in December of 2019.
Cameron’s claim is referencing the labor force.
The BLS and the Kentucky Center for Statistics do show a smaller labor force - that’s everyone 16 and older classified as employed or unemployed. Both show Kentucky’s labor force in August was 2,048,953. In December of 2019, the labor force was 2,076,707. That is a difference of roughly 27,000.
The Governor and Attorney General are divided on the ways in which to get that number back to pre-pandemic levels.
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