Gov. Beshear announces third straight month of low unemployment rates, general fund surplus

Published 3:30 pm Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear reported record-low unemployment rates for the third month in a row according to a news release.

Last Thursday, the governor reported that Kentucky’s June 2022 unemployment rate hit a low of 3.7%, resulting in the trifecta of lower than average months. The number of people employed in June increased by 1,085 to 1,986,909 while the number of unemployed decreased by 1,811 to 77,193, according to the release.

“While our families face a lot of challenges today – from the pandemic to the deadliest tornado we have ever seen, inflation and a war in Ukraine – it’s important we remember that we are tough and we must have faith,” Beshear said in the release. “The challenges of today are what we have to push through to get to a bright and optimistic tomorrow where we are seeing more new jobs, investments and better wages than we have ever seen.”

The commonwealth’s good financial news continued with the general fund.

For the second year in a row, Kentucky’s General Fund budget surplus has exceeded $1 billion. The surplus for the year that just ended, fiscal year 2022, is $1,033,445,597, according to the release.

Revenues came in $945 million higher than budgeted, the second-highest revenue surplus ever – surpassed only by last year’s record amount. Lower spending than budgeted accounted for most of the rest of the surplus, according to the release.

The budget bill includes a surplus spending plan. Nearly all of the $1 billion surplus will go into Kentucky’s Rainy Day Fund. That will bring the fund up to a record balance of $2.7 billion, according to the release.

The Road Fund ended the year with a $70.4 million surplus. That is due to the Kentucky General Assembly not appropriating all of the official revenue estimate. The $70.4 million will be directed to spending on projects in the 2022-2024 biennial highway construction program, according to the release.