In mid-2021, the new Kentucky location and expansion announcements announced since the beginning of the year show the economy is recovering from the challenges of the past 15 months and positioning the Commonwealth for significant, sustained growth in the years to come, Governor Andy Beshear announced this week.
Since January, private companies announced 50 new site and expansion projects totaling more than $ 2 billion in new investment and more than 4,000 full-time positions for Kentucker.
“Each of these companies trust Kentucky because they see what we see: an economy that is on the move and a dedicated workforce ready to embrace new, high-quality opportunities,” said Governor Beshear. “2021 has got off to an incredible start and we are still picking up speed.”
Through May, the average hourly wage for projects announced in Kentucky in 2021 was $ 23.15 before services. That’s a 4.7% increase over the previous year’s average wage of $ 22.11, the second highest in six years.
Key sectors of Kentucky’s economic recovery include metal production and processing; Sales and logistics; and the food, beverage and agritech industries. In each of these target industries, the adoption of advanced and innovative technologies is helping to meet customer demand while creating jobs in Kentucky.
Beshear announced last week that Kentucky metals companies announced $ 870 million in new investments and over 1,500 jobs for Kentucky residents in 2021.
Currently, the Commonwealth is home to over 230 metal-related facilities that employ approximately 25,000 people.
While metals were the fastest growing industry in Kentucky in 2021 through both investment and job creation, a number of other sectors have continued to expand as well.
Automotive companies in the Commonwealth announced plans in 2021 to create more than 1,100 jobs in the coming years with investments of $ 177 million. This strengthens a pillar industry that employs over 100,000 Kentucky residents and includes more than 525 automotive suppliers and four assembly plants.
This year, food, beverage, and agro-tech companies announced plans to create nearly 400 jobs in Kentucky through $ 473 million in new investments. The sector already includes more than 350 institutions employing over 52,000 people nationwide.
Sales and logistics continue to be strong contributors to Kentucky’s growing economy in 2021 as companies in the industry moved forward with more than $ 26 million in new investments and 340 job commitments. The Commonwealth currently has more than 580 logistics and distribution facilities employing nearly 78,000 people.
Kentucky’s plastics and rubber sector completes the state’s five previous industries in 2021 with 134 new jobs announced based on over $ 175 million in new investment. That adds to the state’s 230+ facilities that employ nearly 30,000 people.
The job and investment projects add to other recognized achievements in 2021 that highlight Kentucky’s emerging economy. Last month, Moody’s Analytics released a positive economic outlook for Kentucky, citing mass vaccination as the driving force behind a sustained recovery in consumer services. The state’s rebound, Moody’s said, benefited from earlier reopening efforts and increased demand for manufactured goods versus services. The report also found that Kentucky’s manufacturing industry has outperformed the country’s since last year’s national downturn.
Fitch Ratings upgraded the state’s financial outlook to stable last month, reflecting the Commonwealth’s solid economic recovery. The state’s sales tax revenue for April hit a new monthly record of $ 486.5 million, as did vehicle tax revenue of over $ 64 million.
In March, Site Selection magazine’s annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2020 placed Kentucky at the top of the South Central region and third nationwide for qualifying projects per capita. The Commonwealth also ranked seventh in the overall projects, the highest of any state with a population of less than 5 million. Site Selection also recently ranked Kentucky fifth on the Prosperity Cup 2021 list, placing the state among the national front-runners for business climate.
To learn more about Kentucky’s economic growth in 2021, Click here.