Employment Trends in Kentucky
In my previous blog post, I analyzed the trend in population for the top ten most populous cities in Kentucky. Population trends, along with trends in employment and income, comprise what are known in the appraisal community as ‘demand generators’. Trends in these three categories increase the demand for real estate in a given area. In today’s post, I will provide an analysis of employment trends in the top ten cities. As with population, I will limit the number of cities-per-graph to five. Also, the graph will provide a trend line for the rate of change in employment rather than considering the raw numbers. I should note that employment trends over the last ten years have been significantly affected by the global depression and conclusions regarding these trends in employment should be viewed with caution. I should also note that employment figures for Georgetown and Elizabethtown were unavailable and are not included in the graph.
A graph of the top five most populous cities is provided in the chart below:
As you can see in the chart, of the top five most populous cities in Kentucky, four experienced positive employment growth. Only the City of Covington experienced a loss. The compound annual increase or decrease for the respective cities in order of size are; Louisville (.20%); Lexington (.55%); Bowling Green (1.15%); Owensboro (.92%); and Covington (-1.19%). The trend lines for Bowling Green and Covington have a downward slope though it should be noted that the trend line for Bowling Green is skewed by higher changes in employment in the early years of my analysis. Thus, while the trend line for Bowling Green has a downward slope, it will not receive a negative rating in my final analysis.
A graph of the change of employment for the bottom three of the top eight most populous cities in Kentucky is provided below:
As shown in the chart, each of the bottom three of the top eight cities in Kentucky experienced positive population growth from 2003 through 2012. Each of the trend lines decline gradually over the period observed though the trend line for Richmond is obviously skewed by a leap in employment in the early years of my analysis. The compound annual increase or decrease in employment for these cities in order of size is as follows: Hopkinsville (.10%); Florence (1.09%); and Richmond (1.81%).
Ranking the top ten cities according to their compound annual growth rate in employment, a summary of my analysis is provided in the chart below. Areas that are shaded green are considered to be positive, areas shaded red are negative and data shaded tan is neutral.