Local economy shows growth

A new report from the National Association of Counties indicates the economic output of Scioto County grew 2.2 percent between 2014-2015.

Jason Kester, Executive Director of Southern Ohio Port Authority said Scioto County’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Growth Rate increased by 2.2 percent, its growth rate recovery was 0.5 percent and a job growth rate was 0.9 percent.

“The GDP is what we’re manufacturing and putting out as a county, as far as marketable goods,” said Bryan Davis, Scioto County Commissioner. “We’re seeing growth in our county.”

Kester said anytime a community can grow its GDP is a good thing and indicates local businesses are shipping a lot of product out of the community while bringing money back in.

Kester said there were a number of local businesses that announced expansion projects in 2015, which also helps the local GDP.

Kester the report shows some growth in surrounding counties.

Pike County saw a 0.3 percent GDP growth, a 1.3 percent growth rate and a 1.3 percent job growth rate.

Ross County saw a 1.7 GDP growth rate and a 1.1 percent job growth rate and is classified as “GDP recovered” from the prior recession.

Adams. Jackson and Lawrence Counties saw a decline in GDP growth rates. Jackson County saw a 1.1 percent job growth rate and Adams saw a 1.3 percent job growth rate.

Davis said the Scioto County’s unemployment has been on the decline for the last several months, which also helps the economy.

“We have held our own as far as the number of people employed in Scioto County,” Davis said. “We’ve been below double figures (unemployment rate) for a while now, which is great news. You can see a trend down, as far as the number of unemployed people in Scioto County.”

Davis said although the growth looks good, now is not the time to stop working to bring businesses and jobs to the area.

“We are very happy with the GDP growth and we’re seeing more and more happening in our area, as far as entrepreneurship and people starting new businesses. We have to continuing to foster that kind of environment, where people are not afraid to start a new business or bring a business to the area,” Davis said.

He said there has been a number of businesses announce expansions over the last year and the ongoing construction of the Southern Ohio Veterans Memorial Highway.

“We are seeing more output and we feel confident those numbers are correct,” Davis said. “It’s wonderful that out of our region we’re (Scioto County) the shining star.”

He said there are a number of projects on the horizon for Scioto County and the region that could have positive economic returns for the area.

“SOPA has drawn more interest to this area than there has been for years and years,” Davis said. “We have the state working for us now, they have become a partner and are excited about what we’re going and accomplishing in this area. As commissioners we are behind SOPA and their work 100 percent.”

For more information about the work of the Southern Ohio Port Authority visit them at www.sohpa.org or find them on Facebook.

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By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT