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Louisville successfully transitions from industrial to service economy


ST. LOUIS—According to analysis published by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Louisville metropolitan region is well on track toward reaching postrecession highs in employment and job growth.  These findings are the subject of a current article in The Regional Economist. 

The report found that  the Louisville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): 

  • outpaced population growth in both Kentucky and the nation between 2002 and 2012;
  • added 19,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls in the year ending  March 2013;
  • saw the unemployment rate drop from 8.5 to 7.8 percent over the year ending  March 2013;
  • successfully expanded education and health-services payroll employment; and
  • witnessed 9 percent growth in manufacturing over the past year.

Additionally, both the Kentucky and Indiana sides of the Louisville MSA have invested heavily in bridge and infrastructure projects,  which will lead to  more jobs in construction and other skilled areas,  as well as improved transportation.

Assuming no major shifts, Louisville can expect its stable-growth sectors of health care and logistics to provide consistency in employment trends moving forward.  Coupled with recent vigor in heavy manufacturing, such as in autos, and the large undertaking of the Ohio River Bridges Project, area employment conditions should continue to improve to postrecession bests.