University of Kentucky Economists See "Robust" 2017 for Commonwealth (Business Lexington)

(7 February 2017)

University of Kentucky economists are predicting “robust” economic development for the Commonwealth in 2017.

The university’s Center for Business and Economic Research, part of the Gatton College of Business and Economics, on Tuesday released its annual economic report – its 45th such report.

“The annual economic report contains a vast amount of information about the state’s economy that can be used by business leaders, policymakers and citizens to become better informed on economic issues,” Gatton Dean David Blackwell said in a statement.

The report looks broadly at the state’s economy across a spectrum of industries. Christopher Bollinger, CBER director and a Gatton endowed professor of economics, wrote the 2017 report. He said most signs are positive, including and unemployment rate that has held at about 5 percent for more than six months.

“Increases in both hourly earnings, as well as average weekly earnings, suggest a strengthening labor market, which potentially bodes well for workers during the coming year,” Bollinger said.

The report, which is being released as part of the Gatton-sponsored annual Economic Outlook Conference, can be viewed here: or

“Despite the constant change confronting us, there are timeless and enduring lessons,” Bollinger said. “Pursuing educational excellence as well as economic innovation — since ideas, innovation, and intellectual capital form the foundation of the knowledge economy — is essential for Kentucky to improve its per capita income and achieve broad prosperity.”