Ohio ends 2015 on high note

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

According to a report from the Buckeye Institute, Ohio’s labor market enjoyed a strong finish to 2015. Total employment rose by 15,000 jobs, the largest one-month increase since January. However, jobs numbers for the mining sector, which includes oil and gas, reflect the negative impact of low commodity prices and costly regulations.

“December marks the third consecutive month of labor force participation rate increases,” Joe Nichols, a policy analyst at The Buckeye Institute’s Economic Research Center, said. “Employment grew strongly in the final month of the year. However, the good news did not impact everyone as the mining sector experienced more layoffs and is down 11.5 percent from the previous year. Oil, gas, and coal are in dire straits. In 2016, policymakers should be careful not to kick this industry while it’s down. Despite hard times, the energy industry holds plenty of promise for Ohio if bad policy doesn’t get in its way.”

The jobless rate rose to 4.7 percent in November, up from 4.5 percent a month earlier, but down from 5.1 percent a year earlier. Scioto County continued to lag behind a large portion of the state with unemployment at 7.7 percent, tied with Jackson in this region, Just ahead of Pike County at 7.6 percent and just behind Adams County who finished the year with 8 percent unemployment. In this region the lowest unemployment rate belonged to Lawrence County at 5.6 percent.

The percentage of working-age Ohioans who have a job or are looking for work rose to 62.5 percent in November, up from 62.4 percent a month earlier.

When you look at dollar figures, Portsmouth officials are elated at the closing numbers, especially in light of the fact that the city was headed for Fiscal Emergency status as recent as two years ago.

For the year, the city collected $10,280,299 which is $131,797 over last year for an increase of 1.3 percent. All city funds ended up in the positive except for the Sewer Fund, which showed a deficit of $965,198.

The General Fund ended at $445,626 in the black. The Streets Fund ended at $0, Water Fund 604 at $211,583, The Sanitation Fund ended at $545,151, and the Insurance Fund, after the final payment of the year, at $527,505.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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