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County's Economy Is Recovering

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

The economy is sluggish just about everywhere right now, and Harlan County is no exception.

In fact, it's unemployment rate recently spiked into the top ten among counties across Kentucky.

The economic picture for Harlan County did not look good back in July.

County-wide unemployment spiked with about fifty more people losing their jobs for the 3rd straight month.

Eighty people lost their jobs here at the T.L. Bayne furniture company alone.

There are some signs of life, like most recently in the newly located Harlan Pizza Hut, which hired about ten new people when it moved.

“We hope to absorb those people, and if we continue to grow at the rate we're growing, we're always looking for good quality people to work here,” Keith Turbyfill said.

“Just in the last three to five years, a profound improvement in restaurant facilities, and we're gonna see I think more of that coming,” Roger Fannin said.

But why? Fannin, who monitors the local economy for the county's chamber of commerce, says it's tourism.

“Any given weekend you're going to see out of towners here, and they're eating somewhere, shopping somewhere, they're doing things, and I think that's making a profound difference,” Fannin said.

They believe all the spending is helping to keep the local Goody's, whose company filed for bankruptcy, open.

Peebles, which opened last year, is going strong.

Appalachian Wireless, which is expanding service to the county, is opening a new store in Harlan's mall Monday.

All signs of an economy turning in the right direction, during a time of economic uncertainty.

Local economic experts say the coal industry, which has remained strong, is also helping to keep the Harlan County economy afloat.


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