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Welcome to one city in America where unemployment is actually falling



Of the 389 cities monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the only city in the country where unemployment has not risen over the past year. City officials are demanding this from the largest employers: medical workers, bourbon and tobacco manufacturers and personal protective equipment manufacturers.

“We’ve dealt with this as a community,” Owensboro Mayor Tom Watson told CNN Business on Wednesday.

To date, Watson said there were about 500 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the city, which resulted in the hospitalization of 53 people and eight deaths.

If national unemployment in June was about 11%, Owensboro’s unemployment rate was only 4.2%. This has been slightly reduced since June 201
9, according to a new report from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The working-age population of the city, which numbered almost 54,000, had more than 2,200 unemployed in June, up from 2,499 a year ago.
The city is not protected from job cuts; According to BLS, it lost about 3,200 jobs a year ago. Some workers have also dropped out of the workforce, which has partially reduced unemployment, but even unemployment there remains well below the rest of the country.
The Owensboro restaurant and small business communities were forced to take part in the work and lay off workers in March, when government resignations began.

But according to Mayor Watson, the city’s main private employers compete in some of the few industries that see economic profits during a pandemic and hire.

According to the mayor, Owensboro’s largest employer – his hospital, Owensboro Health – worked successfully throughout the pandemic.

The city also houses bourbon producers Sazerac and OZ Tyler. Not surprisingly, nationwide beverage and beer sales increased during the pandemic.

“At a time when tens of millions of people in our country are entering unemployment, we are proud that we have managed to protect and support the work of our team members and plan to bring 80 additional well-paid jobs to Owensboro,” the spokeswoman said. Sazerac’s Amy Presque told the Owensboro Times during union talks in March.
Unifirst, a unified workplace, also manufactures personal protective equipment that is in high demand and not in sufficient demand in the country.

Owensboro also has a tobacco factory owned by Swedish Match. The Stockholm-based company said the second quarter saw surprising double-digit sales growth driven by demand for nicotine patches in the United States.

The President of the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and CEO of Candens Caistlen Break says the city is also centrally located between some of the country’s largest settlements, including Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Nashville and Indianapolis, making it an optimal hub.

Break acknowledged that Owensboro’s luck was an anomaly, but said it was no accident.

“During the last recession, our economic development team invested a large sum of money in our city center, starting with a $ 40 million grant from the federal government,” Break said. “The private development that has taken place downtown because of this has actually put us at stake as a community. I think we are just lucky to have growth sectors in our community when the hit pandemic was still thriving and thriving.”

—Annalyn Kurtz contributed to the reporting.

See how economic recovery is happening in America and with your country this is the CNN dashboard.

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