Export Strength and Opportunities for Kentucky Industries

This project's primary goal is to quantify export strengths and opportunities in Kentucky industries. We measure export strength as the relative dollar value of exports per worker in four digit industries using U.S. dollar value of exports per worker as the base. Tables were prepared for total exports and a selection of 50 countries representing 98.5% of Kentucky exports and 93.2% of U.S. exports. In addition to the export index, a measure of industry strength based upon labor and comparisons to regional competitor states is provided. 

  • Industries with a low index value, either overall or for specific countries, present opportunities for exports as they reflect low exports relative to the rest of the country and controlling for industry strength and overall U.S. exports of that industry to that country.
  • Industries with a low industry strength index may be opportunities for Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet intervention. These smaller industries may lack resources necessary to establish trading agreements. Broad intervention on the part of the Cabinet may overcome this lack of resources and lead to higher exports and industry growth.
  • Some focus on the dollar value of exports per worker is warranted and these data are provided for the U.S. as a whole. These industries may present opportunities for high dollar value exports, which can lead to higher wages for workers.