By Michael Childress, UK Now
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Noting that prosperity is increasingly tied to place and preparation, the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) — the applied economic research branch of the Gatton College of Business and Economics at the University of Kentucky — released its 48th Kentucky Annual Economic Report today.
The report is one of the many ways CBER fulfills its mandated mission as specified in the Kentucky Revised Statutes to examine various aspects of the Kentucky economy. CBER performs research projects for federal, state and local government agencies, as well as for private-sector and nonprofit clients nationwide.
“The most noteworthy economic trend over the last three and a half decades is what economists call ‘human capital,’ or the education and skills necessary for economic success,” Mike Clark, interim director of CBER, said. “And, in the decade since the Great Recession, economic opportunity and human capital have become increasingly concentrated in urban areas, meaning that where someone lives has become an increasingly important factor affecting their economic opportunity.”
The report covers a variety of issues ranging from an economic forecast for Kentucky in 2020 to a comprehensive presentation of agricultural, community, economic, economic security, education, energy, environment, health, infrastructure, innovation, population and public finance factors affecting Kentucky’s future economic prosperity. As a result, Clark says, “Many people, from business leaders to politicians to citizens, will find relevant information in the annual report.”
Clark is the author of the report’s 2020 Kentucky economic forecast, and he highlights the bright spots in the economy, which include strong GDP (gross domestic product) growth, high employment, and low inflation. However, he anticipates that “both the U.S. and Kentucky economies will continue growing, but at a slower pace in 2020.”
In addition to the economic forecast, there are over 100 trends, forces and factors affecting Kentucky’s economy presented in the report. This includes several county and regional level comparisons of earnings and employment; county-level analyses of the social determinants of health as well as social capital; updated research results on Kentucky’s educational position relative to other states and an updated analysis of Kentucky’s state finances compared to other states. In short, throughout this report there is new and important information, data and analysis on Kentucky’s economic situation.
“Our annual report provides a comprehensive overview of our state’s economy. By showing where we are, and how we got here, we can better understand our options going forward,” Clark explained. “This should help us prioritize actions to increase Kentucky’s income and achieve broad economic prosperity across the Commonwealth.”
Digital copies of the Center for Business and Economic Research 2020 Kentucky Annual Economic Report can be found at the CBER website.