Report Shows Kentucky Workers Still Struggling

Aug 29, 2014

Credit Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

A new report on the state of Kentucky workers suggests the state’s economy has a ways to go before it fully recovers from the 2008 recession.

But some relief has come as a result of the Affordable Care Act.

As we enter Labor Day Weekend in Kentucky, most workers will take a day off from a job whose wages have stagnated.

That’s one takeaway from the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy’s annual report, “The State of Working Kentucky 2014.”

KCEP executive director Jason Bailey says despite regaining the same number of jobs before the 2008 recession, wages remain stagnant, and the jobs created in its wake are low-paying, service sector jobs.

But he says that Kynect, Kentucky’s health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act, has been a silver lining for working families despite economic hardships.

“Kynect in the provision of health insurance to over 500,000 Kentuckians who signed up is one really outlier [sic] in what is not a very happy story about the wages and benefits of workers, in that, it’s been a case where people are gaining benefits who didn’t have it before.”

Bailey says that it will likely be a couple of years before the state fully recovers from 2008’s recession.