Kentucky ranks second for economic development in South Central region, eighth nationally

By Shayla Lohman, Building Kentucky

Logo courtesy of Site Selection Magazine.

Gov. Andy Beshear emphasized Kentucky’s ongoing economic success following Site Selection Magazine awarding the Commonwealth second in the South Central region in its newly released 2024 Prosperity Cup rankings.

Kentucky is ranked eighth nationally this year and has maintained a top 10 position each year under the Beshear-Coleman administration. These rankings acknowledge the competitiveness of state-level economic development agencies and their success in securing capital investment projects, as per a 10-point index.

“Kentucky has placed strongly in this and other recent rankings for economic growth, and that showcases what we already know: The Commonwealth is the best place to do business,” said Gov. Beshear. “These rankings highlight the success we have had statewide and the major investment and job creation projects the state continues to attract. We still have work to do to meet our goals, but our efforts are gaining recognition at the national and international level. That success is due to the tremendous work of everyone who is a part of Team Kentucky.”

Kentucky’s top 10 placement in the 2024 Prosperity Cup rankings builds on the best four-year period for economic growth in state history.

Since the start of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced over 1,000 private-sector new-location and expansion projects. These projects represent a total investment of over $30.6 billion and have created more than 52,500 jobs. This investment figure is the highest secured by any governor in the history of the commonwealth.

The strong job creation has led to increasing wages across the Commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 and 2023 exceeded $26 in two consecutive years, a first-time occurrence.

Gov. Beshear has announced some of the largest economic development projects in state history, which have solidified Kentucky as the electric vehicle battery production capital of the United States: Ford Motor Co. and SK On’s transformative $5.8 billion, 5,000-job BlueOval SK Battery Park in Hardin County; AESC’s $2 billion, 2,000-job gigafactory project in Warren County; Toyota’s $1.3 billion investment in Scott County; and INFAC North America’s $53 million investment in Taylor County, among others.

The Governor’s administration also secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund, as well as the most jobs filled in state history. Last year, Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.

Kentucky also secured rating increases from major credit rating agencies Fitch Ratings and S&P Global Ratings, and Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Kentucky’s credit outlook from stable to positive.

Gov. Beshear announced a “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.

For the full 2024 Prosperity Cup rankings and more information on methodology, visit the Site Selection Magazine website.

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