New job creation over the past year has been favorable according to reports from the top 30 employers in Van Wert County.
Although unemployment has varied from its high in January 2013 of 8.5 percent and hit its lowest of 6.5 percent in April, current unemployment for the county reported in November by the Ohio Labor Market Information was at 6.7 percent with an estimated 13,000 employed from the available labor force of 14,000.
The most important metric to measuring economic development in the county is through new job creation and capital investments. During the past nine months, the top 30 employers had a net job increase of 120 new jobs and during the past 18 months an increase of 260 net jobs, which is a start to closing the gap on lost jobs when the economic crisis hit in 2008.
Although job increases are only based on a select list of employers in the county, the results are still significant in terms of the overall impact to the community. New jobs have impact on other sectors such as goods and services provided by retail stores, medical facilities, food services and transportation.
While the Vision Industrial Park still has more than 70 acres available for development and many other commercial buildings and properties available countywide, priorities in 2014 will be based on attraction and retention. Other priorities will be to complete the certification process for the 1,600-acre industrial megasite with the Ohio Job Ready Sites Program.
— Cynthia Leis
Van Wert County Economic Development Director