Jobless rate drops but more must be done

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas came a little early for some Lawrence County leaders when they learned that the county’s unemployment rate is dropping. But the real winners are the men and women who have been fortunate enough to join the workforce.

The Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services recently released figures detailing Lawrence County’s jobless rate for the month of November. The 5.3-percent mark was below the state average and lower than many surrounding counties.

Scioto County reported a jobless rate of 7.7 percent. Meigs County’s jobless rate was 8.3 percent

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and Jackson County’s was 6.3. Gallia County’s outlook was a little brighter after it posted a 5.4-jobless rate for November. Hamilton County joined Lawrence at a 5.3-percent jobless rate.

The state’s unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in November while the national unemployment rate was 5.0 percent.

Though the county’s drop is only slightly lower than October’s 5.4-percent figure, it is nearly 1 percent below the 6.1 percent reported this time last year.

While the numbers can never tell the whole story and much more progress is needed, this shows that the county is at least headed in the right direction. We hope this is a sign that things are starting to turn around for southern Ohio and Lawrence County residents who have had a tough storm to weather.

The next step is to continue to train the workforce we have to fill other vacant jobs and to create new, high-quality jobs that actually allow families to live comfortably.

All the whispers of various economic development projects in the works throughout the region are promising.

For the county to continue on this positive path, each and every member of the community will have to chip in and help. Employers should look to find local help when needed. Citizens should promote the community by telling others why they love the region so much.

And maybe most of all, each of us should show pride in southern Ohio and Lawrence County by keeping our property clean and showing a positive attitude when it comes to growth and economic development. These may seem like small things that won’t make a difference but these types of details will be what sells others on living and working in Lawrence County.

Past successes are great but it is the greatness of the future that we must all continue to strive.