The South Central Kentucky region boasts a population of more than 284,000 people and a labor force of nearly 138,000, and it has experienced a healthy growth rate of 11.4 percent from 2000 to 2010, a rate higher than the national growth rate and that of Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia, as well as Kentucky.
Bowling Green, the metropolitan hub of the region, is the third largest city in Kentucky and is growing faster than any other city within the Commonwealth.
According to the most recent unemployment data (February 2011), the region has an unemployment rate of 11.3%, higher than the Kentucky average of 11.2% and the United States’ national rate of 9.5%.
Kentucky has a product output per wage that is 1.9% higher than the U.S. average. Labor costs are less than 86% of the national average, and these low costs are supported by a low cost of living in South Central Kentucky (10% lower than the national average) and a low tax burden.