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Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s Job Gain Claims Proven False by Statistics

Fewer Kentuckians are working now than when Dem governor took office

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images for Concordia)

Kentucky Democratic governor Andy Beshear claims that there are “more Kentuckians employed than ever before in state history” under his watch. However, labor statistics reveal a different story. There are actually fewer Kentuckians working now than when Beshear took office.

Beshear made this claim during a June 8 address, where he shared “incredible news” about Kentucky’s supposed milestone and record-breaking achievements. He repeated the statement in a follow-up press release, stating that there are more Kentuckians employed than ever before in state history.

However, when scrutinized, Beshear’s claim falls apart. According to labor statistics, approximately 1.97 million Kentuckians are currently employed, which is 22,000 fewer than when Beshear took office in December 2019. Beshear’s assertion that over 2 million Kentuckians are working comes from a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics survey of state businesses. However, this survey counts total workers, not individuals who are employed, leading to double or triple-counting for those with multiple jobs.

Sean Southard, spokesman for the Kentucky Republican Party, believes that Beshear either doesn’t understand the numbers or purposely misled the public and the media. Southard emphasizes that the fact remains: there are fewer people employed today than when Beshear assumed office. He questions why the governor celebrates needing extra jobs to make ends meet in the Biden-Beshear economy.

Interestingly, Beshear seems to be changing his tune regarding his stat. After being presented with the correct labor statistics by the Courier Journal, Beshear now claims that Kentucky has a record number of jobs filled, not employed Kentuckians. Despite the correction, Beshear’s office continues to highlight this amended achievement, stating that he has secured the most filled jobs in state history, exceeding a historic 2 million.

This discrepancy arises as Beshear faces a challenging reelection bid against Republican attorney general Daniel Cameron. Beshear, the son of a former governor and attorney general of Kentucky, narrowly won the governor’s seat in 2019. Cameron is expected to be a formidable challenger, with both candidates tied at 47 percent support according to a Cygnal poll conducted in May. The upcoming election in November will determine their fate.

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