According to the Kentucky Office of Unemployment and Training, the jobless rate here rose from 4.3 percent in November 2007 to 6.4 percent in November 2008 - only slightly lower than 6.6 percent unemployment state-wide. More than 1,100 workers were unemployed, out of a civilian labor force of 17,600 in November.
In another sign trying times, 2008 home sales also plummeted in Clark County. According to the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors, year-to-date home sales were down 18 percent compared to 2007, and the average days that a home stays on the market rose by 2 percent. However in one spot of good news, LBAR reported that home price rose 8 percent in September 2008 compared to September 2007.
But while many homeowners were having a tough time selling in 2008, many were struggling just to avoid foreclosure.
In October, attorney Alex Rowady, Clark County's master commissioner, told The Sun that the local foreclosure rate has been on the rise since late 2006.
"I would say that in the last 18 to 24 months the rate of foreclosure has increased dramatically, although I will say in my first several months in the job I was pretty busy," Rowady said at the time. "I had a much bigger load than my predecessors, but we didn't have many foreclosures until two or three years ago."
Between the beginning of August and the end of October, 47 homes were advertised in The Sun as foreclosures.
"Until the economic engine of this county starts working again, and until the credit crisis eases, I think the public can expect to see this occurring at the same rate," Rowady said.
Even as Clark Countians battled to stay employed and keep their homes, they faced another economic conundrum of higher energy prices.
Nearly every utility in Clark County either implemented or pursued a rate increase in 2008. Meanwhile gasoline prices rose to new levels, hovering around $4 per gallon during periods in the summer and leaving some wondering why gas prices in Clark county seemed to remain 10 to 30 cents higher than in surrounding communities.
"I purposely do not fill up in Winchester because I think that is the only way I can communicate to gas stations that I am not happy that their prices are higher," one consumer, Mary Ann Ingram, told The Sun in August.
And in a final straw, many local retailers reported lower sales volume over last year as they struggled with lower consumer confidence and a public eager to cut back on expenses.
Bill Pace, president of All-Star Sports Inc. on the bypass, said sales dropped off for the first time in six years in 2008.
He summed up the uncertainties of many in an interview with The Sun this week.
"We will get new leadership in Washington, and we will see what happens," he said. "Sometimes that's good and sometimes that's bad. I don't really know what I think at this point."
Contact Mike Wynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.