By Wayne Allen
Common Staff Writer
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recently released unemployment numbers for January. Pike County remains atop of the list at 16.6 percent. Scioto County’s unemployment in January is 12.7 percent.
In November of 2011 Scioto County ranked second in the state for the highest unemployment rate, behind Pike County.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate in Pike County in December of 2011 was 14.8 percent, compared to 16.6 percent in January of 2011.
According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the unemployment rate in Scioto County in December of 2011 was 11.6 percent compared to 13.2 percent in January of 2011.
Ohio’s unemployment rate in January of was 7.7 percent compared to 7.9 percent in December.
“Southern Ohio in general, not just in Scioto County, ever since the ’80s has seen an out-migration of good manufacturing jobs. We lost about 15,000 jobs when steel mills, foundries, shoe factories and a number of those things closed,” said Steve Wells, Scioto County economic development director in an earlier interview. “We’ve never regained those jobs that were lost.”
He said a lot of people have been working for a number of years to bring jobs to the area.
“Places like Haverhill North Coke and Infra-Metals will make us stronger in the future,” Wells said. “There are so many people looking at this area. We get inquiries, three or four times a week, from people looking for building sites along the river. It’s phenomenal the people that are out there looking.”
He said efforts are underway to partner with other counties in the area to better market the region.
Wells said the region is fortunate enough to have Fluor-B&W Portsmouth at the Piketon plant.
Economic development consultants with Fluor-B&W Portsmouth have developed profiles for Scioto, Jackson, Pike and Ross counties. The profiles are being released as part of the company’s community commitment plan.
Dr. Buzz Canup and Jim Bruce served as consultants for the company in the creation of the county profiles.
“Recognizing the need for economic stabilization and growth, Fluor B&W has made a major commitment to advancing the economic development of this region. This effort ultimately will include a study of economic development opportunities within the surrounding region, as well as an evaluation of the potential asset revitalization of the plant site and a high-level strategy for implementation” the introduction of the profile states.
“They are doing this strategic plan for us. Those kind of studies are invaluable and cost an awful lot of money,” Wells said.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services state the unemployment rate in Adams County for January was 14.2 percent. Jackson County 10.9 percent and Lawrence County 8.9 percent.
According to ohiolmi.com, February unemployment numbers will be released by the end of March.