Kentucky’s economic growth in 2017 exceed the past two years, which were the best years in more than a decade.
According to the Cabinet for Economic Development, the state had its best year since the mid-90s. Officials announced a record $9.2 billion in corporate expansion and new-location projects in 2017 along with commitments to create more the 17,200 jobs — the most since 2000.
The three biggest announcements — Toyota, Amazon and Braidy Industries — totaled $4.1 billion and more than 3,000 jobs added. It also solidified 7,800 jobs, officials said.
“Kentucky’s record-setting performance this year in job creation and corporate investment is a direct result of the pro-business legislation, policies and programs we’ve enacted over the past two years,” said Gov. Matt Bevin. “Due to our ideal geographic location, high quality of life, low costs for business operation and exceptional work force, we are confident that the economic future of Kentucky is very bright indeed. We are well on our way to becoming the globally recognized center of excellence for engineering and manufacturing in the United States.”
Rural and urban counties closely split the 333 private-sector projects in 2017. Rural counties attracted 166 projects, while 167 went to the 10 most-populated counties: Jefferson, Fayette, Campbell, Boone, Kenton, Warren, Hardin, Daviess, Madison and Bullitt. Urban counties account for 10,769 of the total new jobs announced and rural for 6,450.
Through November, companies in the manufacturing sector announced 5,875 new jobs at 26 new-facility locations and 106 expanding facilities. In the service and technology sector, companies announced 7,697 new full-time jobs at 19 new facilities and 42 expanding locations.
Officials credited the passage of several key pieces of legislation for improving the business climate in the state.