Encourage a diverse economic base to provide a variety of job opportunities, allowing upward mobility for lower income residents of Fayette County
Unemployment is low in Lexington, but many jobs are concentrated in industries of less than average pay. When looking at the mix of employment in Lexington, excluding government jobs, the top three industries with the most employment were Healthcare and Social Assistance, Retail Trade, and Accommodation and Food Services. The average employee income for Healthcare and Social Assistance was $49,229; for Retail Trade, the average income was $25,187; and for Accommodations and Food Services, average income was $16,805. While there are opportunities within these industries to advance to higher-paying jobs, overall they have a higher percentage of lower-paying jobs. These vital jobs should be retained, but those in higher-paying employment sectors should remain the focus of Lexington’s economic development strategy. These more lucrative jobs attract young professionals from surrounding areas, help retain local graduates, or encourage movement from existing lower-paying positions.
Funding and supporting research and development campuses should also continue to be a priority, as they attract high-paying jobs and new talent, help retain local talent, and create spaces for incubator businesses. Collaboration should continue between the City, the University of Kentucky, and Commerce Lexington to seek capital investment in this sector.