Kentucky’s manufacturers are making gains. The manufacturing sector comprises about 16 percent of the state’s overall economy. State economist Manoj Shanker says factory activity is on the uptick. “Manufacturing has grown by about three percent for the first nine months of this year versus the first nine months of last year, which is good, compared to say, total employment which has grown by just two percent,” said Shanker.
The makeup of Kentucky’s manufacturing sector has undergone change in the last five years. Shanker says some firms continue to outsource tasks once done inside the company….
“So, for example, a large manufacturing company may have had a payroll person, an H-R person, custodians and everything else and they were all part of the manufacturing group. But, in the last four to five years at least, and this has been an ongoing process. Most manufacturers have said you know we want to outsource these things,” said Shanker.
Over the first six months, Shanker says Kentucky exports were up. He admits some European exports have slowed as a result of economic troubles there. Shanker says demand for machinery and automobiles is still solid in South Korea and Canada. Shanker says the mining industry amounts to four percent of Kentucky’s economy. He says agriculture weighs in at just over one percent of the overall economy. The largest job sector is services at over 60 percent.