Unemployment rates across Kentucky are slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels.

The state said last week that Daviess County was back to 4.8% unemployment in February, down from 5% in January but still up from 4% a year ago.

Hancock was at 5% in February, the same as in January, but up from 4% in February 2020.

McLean’s rate was 4.8%, down from 4.9% in January, but up from 4.4% a year ago.

Muhlenberg was at 7.1%, down from 7.3% in January and even down from 7.2% a year earlier.

And Ohio reported a 6.3% rate, down from 6.4% in January and up from 6% in February 2020.

Oldham and Todd counties tied for the lowest rates in the state at 3.5%.

Magoffin was the highest at 15.2%

What I reported a couple of weeks ago as the February rate was actually the January rate.

Sorry about that.

• Houchens Industries of Bowling Green, which owns the IGA stores in Owensboro, has acquired Lee Masonry Products Inc.

Lee Masonry is a “manufacturer of concrete block and specialty concrete products and a distributor of clay masonry products for commercial and residential use,” the news release said.

The company has 19 facilities in two states with more than 400 employees.

• Envision Contractors has picked up a building permit for construction of the new Jerry Ray Davis Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership at 3900 Frederica St.

The cost is listed at $3.5 million.

Davis said he expects to be moved in before Christmas.

• BenchMark Physical Therapy opened its Owensboro East outpatient clinic last week at 3000 Alvey Park Drive W.

• Owensboro Municipal Utilities has received the diamond designation from the American Public Power Association for its electric system reliability and safety.

• FRONTIER Building says it has started construction of the Panda Express restaurant at 3000 Heartland Crossing Blvd.

The 2,381 square-foot restaurant will have a drive-through and 37 parking spaces for customers.

Numerator, a market research company, says there was a 12% year-over-year increase in in-store sales among vaccinated shoppers during the week ending March 14.

And quick-service restaurants sales are up 18%, it said.

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