By Kevin Pierson, Special to The Times
Local unemployment rates for November:
• Washington County — 5 percent.
• Monroe County — 9.4 percent.
• Meigs County — 7.9 percent.
• Morgan County — 8 percent.
Source: Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.
it’s surrounded by counties with high unemployment rates Washington
County remained beneath the state average during the month of November.
County’s unemployment rate of 5 percent was just below the unadjusted
state rate of 5.1 percent and well below the seasonally adjusted rate
of 5.4 percent according to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family
“We’ve been doing better than the state average all year,” said Washington County Commissioner Sam Cook.
November’s unemployment rate for the county was up slightly from October’s 4.8 percent but was identical to November 2005.
One reason Cook said he feels the county has seen an increase in the unemployment rate is the ongoing work stoppage at Eramet.
lockout at Eramet has put approximately 300 local workers out of work
and if the situation is not resolved the unemployment numbers could
increase even further, Cook said.
“If they don’t get this settled and Eramet would pull out there’s 550 jobs down there that would go down the tube,” Cook said.
Simmons, 52, of Marietta, is one of the employees currently locked out
at Eramet and said he feels the lockout is definitely the cause of the
Simmons said he has been looking for other work but has not been successful yet.
“Three hundred guys being out of work here contributes a lot to that increase,” Simmons said.
County has seen several major businesses such as Kardex, Walker and
Airolite depart the area in recent years but Cook said those job losses
have been made up with growth and expansion in local businesses.
had a lot of new activity in employers that have hired 10 new people or
20 new people or 40 people but we haven’t had any big new employer come
on the scene,” Cook said.
As the new year kicks off Jan. 1 Cook
is hopeful the county will continue to remain below the state average
in unemployment and well below the surrounding counties.
attributes the county’s economic success to the diverse economic base
with chemical plants, feral alloy plants and even Marietta Memorial
“We hope that we’re able to maintain where we are, around 5 percent (unemployment), or do better next year,” Cook said.