Economic recovery stalled by labor shortages and inflation, Kentucky Chamber report says

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

(Courtesy of Kentucky Chamber)

While the COVID-19 recession may have only lasted two months, the pandemic is not over and Kentucky’s economy still has a long way to go, according to the new quarterly Kentucky Chamber of Commerce report.

Latest economic recovery report

The Chamber released its latest update in a series of quarterly reports tracking the Commonwealth’s economic recovery in partnership with the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research.

The second edition released in May revealed signs of healing with an increase in employment and gross domestic product. While economic development and employment are still improving on a national level, Kentucky’s labor force has declined slightly while inflation has increased. The influx in inflation appears to be related to supply-chain and labor force issues, which the report states is likely temporary.

Report highlights

  • The COVID-19 recession began in March 2020 and ended in April 2020 as employment and economic output began to improve, according to official sources. 
  • Kentucky’s labor force declined slightly between March and June 2021. 
  • Kentucky’s non-farm employment was up 5,800 jobs during the 2nd quarter of 2021. 
  • Inflation increased between April and July 2021, but at this point the primary causes appear to be related to supply-chain and labor force issues that are likely to be temporary.
  • As workers are seeing their earnings increase, they are also facing higher prices.
  • The supply of houses in Kentucky has not increased appreciably. Experts suggest slower growth selling price might be due to decreased demand as prospective home buyers postpone buying a home.

The Kentucky Chamber and the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research are publishing a report every three months taking a deep dive into the Commonwealth’s economy as the state works to rebuild, recover and get citizens back to work.

The goal of these regular, quarterly reports will be to inform the public, provide economic trends to business leaders as they make decisions, and prepare lawmakers as they shape policy essential to the state’s economic recovery.

The Chamber will release a fourth update in Fall 2021.

See the September 2021 report here.

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