LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) report shows that the regional economy finished the first half of 2023 with strong momentum and opportunities for future growth. Despite speculation over a potential recession later this year, Louisville’s total employment at the end of the second quarter was at the highest level of any point within the past 10 years.GLI’s Economic Summary is released quarterly and includes core updates on the state of the regional and national economies and an update on GLI’s regional economic development project pipeline. GLI’s pipeline of business attraction and expansion projects grew by 41% during the past quarter showing more companies are considering Louisville as an ideal place to grow or relocate; that growth is expected to continue in the months ahead.“While the current national economic climate is unique, it is proving to be highly advantageous for our region. Greater Louisville has many competitive advantages, making us the ideal place to expand and relocate a business. We are leveraging those assets to capitalize on growth in recent years to bring even more jobs and investment to the region,” said Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, president and CEO of GLI.Key takeaways from the report include:
- Advanced manufacturing and logistics continue to be key drivers of economic growth, with 48% of projects in GLI’s business attraction and expansion pipeline in those categories. Advanced manufacturing jobs comprise 3,000 of the 3,711 potential jobs in the pipeline.
- Despite increasing interest rates, the regional unemployment rate remained low at the end of the second quarter at 3.8%, slightly higher than the national rate of 3.6%.
- Labor shortages persist in the region and across the nation. While the national labor force grew in the second quarter, there are still nearly 3.6 million more job openings than unemployed workers across the U.S.
- The number of job openings cooled slightly in June 2023, indicating that employers might pull back on hiring in anticipation of a slowing economy. Some economic analysts are growing more optimistic that the Federal Reserve may be able to gradually bring down inflation without causing a recession.
“Our regional economy is in a strong position for future growth as we head into the year’s final stretch, but we also have clear challenges related to the workforce,” said Clark Welch, GLI’s director of economic development. “GLI and our team continue working with companies to mitigate labor shortages and ensure they have the skilled talent needed to bring more jobs to our region.”The report also outlines tools GLI deployed during the second quarter to market the region and drive more projects into the pipeline, including coordinating a coalition to attend and set up a booth at the BIO International Convention in Boston and launching the first-ever Greater Louisville Partnership website. To view the full report, click here.