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Stats show economic health of county

Some statistics brought some good news to the Lawrence County Commission chambers.

At its Tuesday meeting, Commissioner Bill Pratt offered a checklist of economic indicators that show Lawrence County is in basically decent health.

Pratt compiled stats for the median household income, December 2010 unemployment, the poverty rate, unemployment rate and the federally adjusted gross income, comparing them to neighboring counties and those around Columbus.

“I thought it was pretty impressive,” Pratt said. “This is real eye-opening.”

The county has a median household income of $34,596, the second highest of the surrounding counties of Adams with $33,850, Athens at $30,190. Gallia at $36,675, Jackson at $34,128 and Scioto at $31,445. The state median is $47,144. Lawrence County had an 8.1 percent unemployment rate, the ninth lowest in the state.

Delaware, adjacent to Columbus, and Holmes counties were tied with a 6.4 percent unemployment rate.

“There is a large Amish community in Holmes,” Pratt said. “And they don’t typically file for unemployment.”

Mercer County, a predominantly farming area, came in third at 6.6 percent

“Farmers don’t typically file for unemployment,” he said.

Also beating out Lawrence were Union at 7.4 percent, Franklin at 7.6 percent, Geauga at 7.7 percent, Medina at 7.8 percent and Fairfield at 7.9 percent.

Taxable income for Lawrence came in at $1,021,688,932 or three-tenths of one percent of the entire revenue of the state, beating out Jackson, Gallia, Athens and Adams.

“This is to dispel the stigma that Lawrence County is one of the lowest counties,” Pratt said. “But we are kind of a jewel.”