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Lawrence County unemployment third lowest in state

Lawrence County unemployment rates are the third lowest in Ohio, according to April statistics from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Lawrence County has an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent. Currently, the unemployment rate for the United States is 9.5 percent.

Jason Stephens, Lawrence County Commission president, attributes some of the falling rates to “the weather warming up and more construction starting up.”

At the beginning of 2010, Lawrence County’s unemployment rate was at 9.6 percent.

According to Dr. Bill Dingus of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Economic Development Corp., the Tri-State is a separate economy from the state of Ohio and the automotive industry.

“We are still driven by the river industry, the coal industry and logistics,” Dingus said.

He also said that Lawrence County is fortunate to have a diverse employment base.

In addition to the river and coal industry jobs, other businesses are slated to open that will bring more jobs to the area.

King’s Daughters Medical Center will open a new facility later this month. It will be one of the largest family care centers that KDMC has brought to the area.

A dialysis center will also make its home in the former Big Lots building.

Dingus also attributes the decreasing unemployment to the citizens of Lawrence County.

“People are committed to try and find work,” he said.

He also commented that the Work Force Development and Economic Development teams are pulling together and people are making good decisions.

Gene Myers, director of the Lawrence County Department of Job and Family Services, said that the majority of unemployed people in the county are being proactive in the search for new employment. He also said that service oriented, entry-level jobs are where most unemployed people are finding work.

“We try to get individuals ready to work entry level jobs to get experience, so they can continue to move up,” Myers said.

“The unemployment rate is relevant, however, it’s not the only indicator for the needs of these families.”