Louisville-area unemployment reaches lowest level since before r - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville-area unemployment reaches lowest level since before recession

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It appears the Louisville area has finally recovered from the Great Recession.

The latest Labor Market Report from Kentuckiana Works shows that the Louisville metro area, which includes 12 counties, now has an unemployment rate of 5.5%, the lowest since before the recession.

The nursing profession seems to be leading the way.

Pamela Missi has been a nurse for 25 years, and now serves as vice-president and chief nursing officer at Norton Audubon Hospital.

"For me it was a calling. It was about serving, and that ability to serve patients and help heal," said Missi.

She made a wise decision.

Overall unemployment in the Louisville area dropped by almost half since the height of the recession in 2009 when the rate was 10%.

It 's down nearly two points in just the last year.

Nursing is the most in demand profession among jobs that pay above the living wage of $36,000.

"Remember we have both hospitals and nursing homes all around the region. All of them are 24-hour, 7-day a week, 365-day a year companies. And they all have nurses that they need every day, all the time," said Michael Gritton, executive director of Kentuckiana Works.

CDL truck drivers are also in demand, as well as information technology, and sales. The growth in manufacturing has also helped.

"We want people to know that the job market is good, that there are lots of job opportunities. We want their kids to know it, and we want them to be thinking about these kinds of career choices," said Gritton.

Average wages are also up nearly $3,000 to $47,372 since 2009. But pay is closely tied to education and training.

"That's the real message that this report sends to people. If you're trying to get to the kind of job where you can raise a family in the Louisville area, you're going to have to have some version of education beyond high school," said Gritton.

Pamela Missi says right now, there are more than 30 open positions just at Audubon.

"So, we are very welcoming of those in the community and beyond to get those positions filled," she said.

For the full Labor Market report and information about career training, please click here.

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