New data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that Daviess County’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in November 2018, the county’s lowest unemployment rating in 28 years. This compares to a 3.9 percent unemployment rate across the U.S. and a 4.5 percent rate across the state of Kentucky during the same month.
According to the data, Daviess County has experienced a fluctuating decline in unemployment since June 2018 when the rate was 4.7 percent.
Angela Hamric, director of finance and support services for the city said that despite more competition for jobs, the 3.2 percent unemployment rate paints a positive picture for the economies of Daviess County and Owensboro.
“A low unemployment rate is the best measure of your local economy,” Hamric said. “From where I sit, it’s good news for our economy.”
Brittaney Johnson, President and CEO of the Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation said the low unemployment rate is something of a double-edged sword for local residents. Johnson said that while the numbers do boost the economy, it means companies must work even harder to recruit well-equipped workers.
“The low unemployment rate is definitely a catch-22,” Johnson said. “The economy is good and citizens are able to find work. On the other side, when we are recruiting new companies or our existing companies are interested in expanding, we have to be very creative to recruit employees and talent.”
A significant unemployment increase began in Daviess County following the 2008 recession, hitting an all-time high in February 2010 at 11 percent. Since that peak, unemployment in the county has steadily declined.