The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Reality Check

June 25, 2008

Looking for the jobs

Region’s job growth has trailed nation during past 18 years

Back in 2001, Joseph Mayernick, executive director of Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, told a reporter for the Business Journal that his organization had, in 11 years, retained 4,000 jobs and created more than 14,000 in Ashtabula County.

“1991 was the low point,” Mayernick was quoted by the reporter. “There were 33,100 people working in Ashtabula County, and now there are 48,000 working.”

Actually, employment statistics from 1991 showed 41,400 Ashtabula County residents employed, which included a net loss of 4,677 out-commuters. According to the estimate prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the average employment in Ashtabula County in 2001 was 46,300, with an unemployment rate of 6 percent.

At best, the job gain was thus 4,900. However, according to U.S. Census Bureau County to County Worker Flow statistics, There was a net loss of commuters in 7,669, or nearly 3,000 more workers who had found jobs outside the county, leaving a job gain of 1,900.

The Regional Capacity Analysis Program of Iowa State prepared a Shift Share Analysis of the county for the 10-year period 1993 to 2003. The method evaluates a county’s recent growth performance by comparing its actual employment change to expected change, taking into consideration its unique industrial characteristics.

The study shows a net gain of 2,322 private sector jobs, more than half of which were in education and health services. Manufacturing gained 135 jobs during the period.

The overall 9.1 percent growth rate in jobs was lower than that of the state, 9.7 percent, and nation, 17.4, during the same period. According to the report, had the county’ economy been configured the same as the national one, there would have been an expected growth of 4,459 new jobs.

Jobs

Continued from A1

A Jan. 9, 2008, letter from Joseph Mayernick, executive director of Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, to Larry Bottoms, president of Growth Partnership and Orwell’s mayor, outlines the group’s many achievements. Mayernick credits the retention/creation of at least 6,600 jobs to Growth Partnership activity, which includes helping develop six industrial parks, two joint economic development districts and assisting many companies expand, locate or stay rooted in Ashtabula County.

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