The fiscal year for the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government ends Friday with revenues down in three areas.
Members of the council’s budget committee were briefed on end-of-year financials earlier this week.
Lexington has been taking in less than expected amounts in payroll withholdings, business net profits, and franchise fees.
Yet, the community continues to see historically low unemployment at 3.6 percent. City Revenue Director Rusty Cook was asked how that math works out.
“Unemployment could be low or flattening out and then all your growth is based on raises, so if businesses are only giving two or three percent raises or one percent raises, unemployment stays there, but our revenue is not going to go up,” explained Cook.
Finance and Administration Commissioner Bill O’mara offered a report to council Tuesday. He calls the unemployment figures versus the job creation chart “perplexing.” “We see Lexington in a favorable low unemployment as well as low inflation and usually that’s followed with healthy business growth,” said O’Mara. “But, we’re seeing slow business growth right now.”
Omara says the same financial picture is being seen in many other communities across the country. He told committee members May’s unemployment in Lexington was at 3.6 percent, down from 3.9 percent the previous month.