economy

GE Appliances To Add 400 Jobs In Louisville

Oct 1, 2018
General Electric

GE Appliances is expanding its facilities in Louisville with more than $200 million in investments to expand dishwasher and laundry production. It will also add 400 jobs here, officials announced Monday.

The investments will help GE Appliances, which was bought by China-based Haier in 2016, expand its laundry and dishwasher production capabilities and expand product lines, its president and CEO Kevin Nolan said.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Like states across the nation, Kentucky has a critical shortage of workers. The problem is even more severe in the Bluegrass State because the percentage of adults working in Kentucky is lower than the national average.

A new report, “A Citizens Guide to Kentucky’s Economy since the Recession,” shows Kentucky’s workforce participation rate is 55 percent. That compares to the national rate of 59 percent.

Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Dave Adkisson said Kentucky is thousands of workers behind the national average.

Becca Schimmel

Although jobs in Kentucky are growing, they still haven’t returned to pre-recession levels. The 2018 State of Working Kentucky report from the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy shows the state would need 60,000 more jobs to return to the pre-recession economy of 2000.

According to the report, wages have remained stagnant across multiple sectors and public investment in schools, payments to hospitals and public safety are playing a big role in where major employers locate.

More Americans will be writing a check to the IRS in April because their employers are not withholding enough from their paychecks following the new tax law, the Government Accountability Office says in a new report.

Revolution

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region.

Vance worked with AOL founder Steve Case to line up big-name investors for what they call the “Rise of the Rest” tour. Vance is now managing partner for the Rise of the Rest Fund, which names Jeff Bezos of Amazon and former Google executive Eric Schmidt among its investors.


This story is part of a series on coal country by NPR's Embedded podcast. Episode audio is below.

On May 5, 2016, Donald Trump led a campaign rally in Charleston, W.Va.

He put on a hard hat and pretended he was shoveling coal. The crowd loved it.

Report: Kentucky Tourism Generates $15 Billion Impact

May 8, 2018
WKU Public Radio

The economic impact of Kentucky's tourism industry has jumped nearly 4 percent to more than $15 billion.

A report commissioned by the Kentucky Department of Tourism shows the industry supports more than 195,000 jobs across the state and generated $1.5 billion in taxes. Of that tax money, $202 million went to local governments while the rest went to the state government.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Pete Prodoehl

A company that produces aluminum is adding more than 250 jobs and investing over $100 million to improve one of its smelters in Kentucky.

Gov. Matt Bevin announced Wednesday that Century Aluminum will invest roughly $116.5 million for improvements to the smelter in Hawesville and bring back more than 250 full-time jobs. In the fall 2015, Century closed three potlines and laid off about 320 workers at the smelter in a dispute over electricity prices.

Updated at 5:26 p.m. ET

China's leaders followed President Trump in taking another step toward a new trade war, announcing a plan to put steep tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. imports. China's proposed 25 percent tariffs would target a wide range of American products, from soybeans and whiskey to airplanes and cars.

"China currently buys about $14 billion worth of American soybeans each year — almost a third of the entire U.S. crop," NPR's Dan Charles reports for our Newscast unit. "Prices for U.S. soybeans tumbled by 3 to 5 percent" on the news, Dan adds.

Mary Meehan | Ohio Valley ReSource

A tax reform bill that passed Monday by Kentucky lawmakers is now awaiting a decision from Governor Matt Bevin. Some economists are saying the tax plan is more of a tax shift from wealthy individuals to middle and low income Kentuckians.

 

The plan would reduce the income tax rate for individuals as well as corporations. It would also broaden the services that could be taxed, such as landscaping, pet grooming and janitorial work.

Becca Schimmel

A bill aimed at providing an economic development boost to 39 Kentucky counties that purchase power from the Tennessee Valley Authority—or have TVA property—is on to Gov. Matt Bevin’s desk.

As a federal entity, TVA doesn’t pay property taxes on any of its assets in 39 counties in southern, western, and parts of eastern Kentucky.  Instead, the utility pays an in-lieu-of tax to the state, which is five percent of its gross sales.

Thinkstock

Kentucky is ranked the second most federally dependent state in the nation.

A recent study by WalletHub looked at two key factors: state government dependency and resident dependency. Kentucky’s government is ranked fourth in dependency on federal money, but is only ranked 23rd in the share of federal jobs. Analyst Jill Gonzalez said there are some drawbacks to being so dependent on federal money.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Pete Prodoehl

Century Aluminum Executive Vice President Jesse Gary said his company will begin hiring up to 300 new workers for its Hancock County smelter as soon as a proposed tariff order is signed.

President Trump is expected to announce a 10 percent tariff on aluminum and a 25 percent tariff on steel this week. Century Aluminum said its smelter in Hancock County could be back to full capacity by 2019 if the tariff order is signed.

NPR

An analyst from the Tax Foundation said raising the state cigarette tax is the wrong approach to creating new revenue in Kentucky. The Kentucky House passed a 50 cent cigarette tax hike last week as part of a two-year budget bill.

The Tax Foundation said Kentucky’s 2009 cigarette tax increase provided an initial boost in revenue, followed by a significant decline in the following years. Morgan Scarboro with the Tax Foundation said cigarette tax revenues are a volatile and unreliable source of revenue.

flickr creative commons

Kentucky won’t be feeling as much of the effect of the federal tax reform law as most other states. That’s partly because the commonwealth doesn’t combine the standard deduction and the personal exemption.

According to a report from the Tax Foundation, Kentuckians won’t see significant changes in their state tax filings. But they will see that some of the exemptions they’ve previously claimed are more limited now.

Senior Policy analyst with the Tax Foundation Jared Walczak said the federal tax law changes are pro-growth and give states a chance to reform their own codes to become more competitive.

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