Downtown Louisville skyline

WDRB file

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new report reveals staggering numbers about Louisville's downtown workforce.

The Metro Council Budget Committee got the report from the Louisville Downtown Partnership during a meeting Thursday evening

The report shows the number of people coming to downtown Louisville for their jobs isn't even one-third of what it was before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We used to have 65-67,000 employees down here every day, and those people shopped and they went to events, and now we've probably got like 20 (thousand), so that's a huge drop and we gotta change that," Bill Schrek, with Louisville Downtown Partnership, said. 

Schrek said the agency will spend $1 million with Louisville company Block by Block next year to provide clean-up services downtown. It also puts ambassadors on bikes to welcome people and help them navigate the downtown area.

But Schrek believes more housing is needed so workers can also live downtown. He said 23% of downtown business space is vacant — the equivalent of an entire skyscraper.

Metro Council plans to examine how other cities have succeeded in bringing workers back to their downtown areas.

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