Over the past few years, the Bluegrass Region has shown progress in recovering from the recession, with increases in jobs and weekly wages, according to the most recent data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.
Since July 2009, the Bluegrass Region has added 36,115 job, an increase of 12.7%. Most job growth was concentrated in Fayette County, which added 19,064 new jobs. However, this represents only a 12% increase from the number of jobs in 2009. Madison County and Scott County both grew by almost 30% and together added 13,116 jobs. Only two counties—Clark County and Woodford County—saw a decrease in the number of jobs, but neither lost more than 2% and the combined loss was only 321 jobs. On average, the Bluegrass Region recovered better than the state of Kentucky and represents 21% of all new jobs created in Kentucky.
On average, weekly wages in Kentucky rose by $58, representing an 8% increase since 2009. Five counties in the Bluegrass Region had a growth rate that was equal to or higher than the state average. Clark County and Woodford County experienced the highest growth rate in weekly wages, with Jessamine trailing close behind at 9.9%. However, 2014 average weekly wages were highest in Fayette County at $844 per week, although this represents only an 8% increase from 2009. Scott County had the lowest growth rate (3%), but previously had the highest average weekly wages at $870 per week in 2009. Overall, September 2014 average weekly wages in the Bluegrass Region were lower than state average, but individual counties outperformed the state and offered higher wages.
Two Gallup polls published in April 2014 provide additional support for the economic and overall wellbeing of the Bluegrass Region. According to Gallup, 67% of Lexington-Fayette MSA residents are optimistic about the future of their community and believe that their city and area is getting better, well above the national average of 59.7%. Furthermore, 89.9% of Lexington-Fayette MSA residents are satisfied with the area and their community.