The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Reality Check

June 25, 2008

Why are we hurting so?

Despite abundant resources, county’s per capital personal income proves lowest in the region

(Continued)



Another factor that has the potential of skewing the number is Conneaut’s Lake Erie Correctional Institution, whose 1,500 inmates are counted as part of the county’s population but would not have incomes. Those inmates have been in the numbers since 2000, during which time the spread between the state’s and county’s per capita figure has steadily increased, suggesting the impact has more to do with wages and increased dependence upon government payments than non-productive citizens.

Salling, who has not studied Ashtabula County specifically, says another explanation for the county’s poor economic showing is geography. Although the Census Bureau considers the county a part of northeast Ohio and the Cleveland metropolitan area, there’s no consensus about its best fit. The Ohio Department of Development lumps it into District XII, which includes Mahoning and Trumbull counties. Team NEO, the 16-county Northeast Ohio marketing alliance, has embraced placing the county in the Youngstown-Warren region, as does the Census Bureau when releasing regional data for northeast Ohio.

“It has a rural population with very little suburban connection,” Salling observes. “It’s not Lake or Geauga counties or Medina, which are rural but benefit from an urban county adjacent, or near, to them.”

Tuesday: Struggling to care for the county’s poor.

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Reality Check
  • images_sizedimage_070165730 Why are we hurting so? It’s time for a reality check.: Main story, Day one

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • images_sizedimage_069193501 Beyond wineries and covered bridges … An introduction to reality check

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • What it is, how it’s calculated Determining per capita income is a complex exercise that — at best — is a mathematical expression of a moving target.

    In its simplest terms, per capita income is, according to the Ohio Department of Development, “the income of a given area divided by the resident population of that area.” Sounds simple enough, but arriving at the figure is not.

    June 25, 2008

  • images_sizedimage_069195701 Bad vibes: Lack of opportunities, progress make for sour attitudes Eavesdrop on conversations at the lunch counter, in the aisles of Wal-Mart on a Friday evening or around the sports bar on a Sunday afternoon, and you’re likely to hear some pretty disparaging remarks about the old hometown.

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • Finding work after prison nearly impossible A portion of Ashtabula County’s unemployed can’t find a job because of their prior address – a prison cell.

    June 25, 2008

  • County part of Team NEO marketing efforts Ashtabula County is part of a 16-county alliance aimed at marketing the Northeast Ohio region to employers and business investors, many of have never heard of Ashtabula, let alone Mentor, Akron or Youngstown.

    June 25, 2008

  • Some people just don’t want a job Ashtabula County Commissioner Deborah Newcomb talks to a lot of employers, and they all express the same concern: finding people reliable people with basic skills is a problem.

    June 25, 2008

  • images_sizedimage_070212402 POOR BUT WORKING A winter wind blew across the parking lot of the Neighbor to Neighbor Food Pantry next to St. Joseph’s Church in Ashtabula; the six adults lined up at the door turned their faces from the wind, toward the metaphoric concrete wall of the building.

    June 25, 2008 2 Photos

  • images_sizedimage_071213603 County's largest hospital feels the Medicaid pain Perhaps no one in Ashtabula County feels the pinch of subsidizing unemployed or underemployed individuals more than Philip E. Pawlowski.

    June 25, 2008 1 Photo

  • Crime & Drugs Inc. always hiring Some “unemployed” residents find crime to be their best source of steady income. Judge Richard Stevens of Western County Court says he noticed a 50-percent increase in the number of criminal cases handled by his court between 2005 and last year.

    June 25, 2008

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