LOUISVILLE, Ky. — New data compiled by The Tax Foundation, using today’s record unemployment numbers, shows that Kentucky is 8th highest in the United States in unemployment compensation claims as a percentage of the civilian workforce. As of April 4th, 11.9% of Kentucky’s civilian labor force has applied for or is receiving unemployment compensation.
Among neighboring states, only Ohio joins Kentucky in double digits, with 11.5% of its population having applied for or receiving unemployment compensation. Indiana and Tennessee are at 6.2% and 6.9% respectably. Georgia is the highest in the Southeast with 14.5% of the workforce having applied for or receiving unemployment.
This weeks totals, which account for the week ending April 4th, saw a record number of Kentuckians filing for unemployment benefits for a third straight week, with 117,135 filing. That eclipses last week’s record of 113,149. For comparison, as noted by the graph below from The Tax Foundation, the highest number filing in a single week during The Great Recession was 25,057.
Even as other states have established task forces to develop strategies on getting their populations back to work, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear has yet to do so or to indicate any timeline on when Kentucky’s economy might begin restarting. Such a task force can help the state quickly rebound after the coronavirus pandemic has ended.