According to Area Development Magazine’s “33rd Annual Corporate Survey and the 15th Annual Consultants Survey”, more than 90% of the respondents considered the availability of skills labor as their top factor in deciding where to locate or expand their businesses.1” With a national unemployment rate of 4.1%, cities and counties nationwide need to find creative ways to demonstrate they can meet employers’ workforce demands. Lexington and the Bluegrass Region is no exception as the Bureau of Labor Statistics has announced an unemployment rate of 3.2% for February 2019. This Stat of the Month marks the beginning of a series that will highlight specific indicators economic developers can use to show that their location can supply the labor their prospects desire.
The first, and arguably most essential indicator, is an area’s population growth rate over a given period. A positive and substantial growth rate reinforces that an area is an attractive destination for people from quality of life and economic opportunity perspectives. Businesses utilize this indicator when determining a location’s potential to meet their long-term workforce demands.
Of the nine counties represented in the Bluegrass Region, five rank in Kentucky’s Top 20 population growth rates from 2010-2017, out of 120 counties total. Scott County leads the way ranking 1st with 16.61%. Jessamine and Fayette County rank 6th and 7th with 9.76% and 9.40% respectively. Montgomery County comes in 12th with 6.34%. Lastly, Woodford County comes in 17th with growth at 5.28%. More details on Kentucky’s Top 20 can be found in the table below.