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Louisville Mayor Fischer today joined with Gov. Beshear and community officials to celebrate Site Selection magazine naming Kentucky the top state for economic development projects per capita last year. The nationally acclaimed publication also recognizes Kentucky’s top metropolitan areas for their economic development successes, ranking Louisville ninth in the top tier category for population over 1 million.
“We are always proud to have Gov. Beshear visit Louisville, especially today as we celebrate the economic development achievements made by the state of Kentucky and in Louisville,” said Mayor Fischer. “Louisville is thriving and with the recent investments made by quality companies, we are happy to announce that we are seeing the lowest unemployment rate since April, 2001. This award is the result of the hard work of the people all across the commonwealth and will continue to pay dividends that will grow our communities for years to come.”
“It’s an honor to receive the Governor’s Cup, but it’s the meaning behind the award that’s so significant,” said Gov. Beshear. “Think about where we were seven years ago when Kentucky’s unemployment rate was 11 percent and business growth was at a near standstill. We’ve come so far. Our statewide unemployment rate is now 5 percent, and the Governor’s Cup is further proof of the fruits of our labor. This success would not have been possible without this community’s dedication to supporting businesses, creating jobs and making Kentucky a better place for all of us.”
Louisville has played a significant role in growing Kentucky’s economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Louisville has added 40,000 jobs in the past five years. More than a fourth of those jobs are in advanced manufacturing, while lifelong wellness and aging care has created more than 3,600 jobs during that time. The largest percentage of business starts has occurred in the business services sector, up 66 percent.
The unemployment rate in Louisville continues to decline. In April 2014, the county rate was 6.2 percent. The rate for April 2015 is 4.5 percent.
The Louisville area is also seeing an increase in tourism. A report released recently showed that the economic impact of Kentucky’s tourism industry topped $13 billion in 2014, with growth in every tourism region of the state. Louisville’s 2014 tourism economic impact was $3.16 billion, a 4.2 percent increase from the previous year. The county’s 2014 tourism employment was the equivalent of 26,086 jobs.
The city also received other accolades, such as one of the “Best Entrepreneurial Cities,” by Entrepreneur.com and one of America’s “Breakout Cities for 2014” by CNN Money.
Site Selection, an Atlanta-based publication, rates states, metropolitans and micropolitans annually for its Governor’s Cup. The rankings are based on the number of projects that involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, create 20 or more jobs or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space.