McMahan reports to city council that unemployment rates are improving

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By Leslie Moore

Taylor County has the lowest unemployment rate in the nine-county labor market.

At last Monday’s Campbellsville City Council meeting, Ron McMahan, executive director of Team Taylor County said more Taylor County residents are working.

Based on data collected last December, Taylor County’s unemployment rate stands at 7.2 percent, a decrease of 1 percent from December 2011.

“Things do look a little better,” McMahan said. “Hopefully it will continue and maybe someday we’ll be back in the 4 and a half and 5 percents like we were five and six years ago.”

The nine-county labor market, which includes Taylor, Adair, Casey, Green, LaRue, Marion, Metcalfe, Russell and Washington counties, is determined by the federal definition of a labor market.

McMahan said a labor market is the area 60 miles from a county’s county seat because typically that is the farthest distance a person would drive for work from where they live.

Of the nine-county labor market, Taylor County has the largest civilian labor force, with 14,159 people eligible to work. According to the report, 13,138 are employed and 1,021 are unemployed.

Councilman Dave Nunery said while it needs to be better, Taylor County is a very good community for economic development.

“I’ve noticed that over the quarters and the years that Taylor County is virtually always showing up best in this nine-county area in unemployment, including Marion,” Nunery said. “Everybody thinks that’s all the jobs, but not only do we have a lower rate, but we’ve got a 3 percent higher workforce population than Marion County does.”

Marion County has the second largest civilian labor force of 10,304, with 9,552 residents employed and 782 unemployed. The unemployment rate is 7.6 percent.

McMahan said he recently received two inquiries from people interested in opening retail businesses in Taylor County.

A response was also submitted to a request for information from
the state Cabinet for Economic Development about available sites in Heartland Commerce and Technology Park.

McMahan said the company was looking for a community near an interstate with a larger population but he is hopeful they will consider Taylor County anyway.

“Hopefully we will have the land and available labor to meet someone’s needs at some point in time,” McMahan said.