Best jobs report since Dec. ‘69

Highland Co. labor forced reduced 10 percent since 2008

By Tim Colliver - [email protected]



A report on the economy released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed the nation’s wealth basket continued its steady rate of increase, with jobless numbers decreasing to 3.5 percent in September and 136,000 new jobs created, maintaining figures that were last seen in December of 1969.

The government report also showed that the number of unemployed persons decreased to 5.8 million.

Rhonda Fannin, director of workforce services at OhioMeansJobs Highland County, said that the OhioMeansJobs website contained more than 147,000 employment opportunities statewide.

She said that in Highland County, her office showed that there were morre than 1,000 employment opportunities available within 20 miles of the 45133 zip code, as well as 179 jobs available within a five-mile radius of the 45133 zip code.

“The jobs report indicated that the area of health care continues to grow, and that remains the same for our local area,” Fannin said. “For the southeast region of Ohio, there were over 9,000 jobs posted for the month of August, the most recent month available online.”

The postings aligned with national trends in the field of health care and technical occupations, as well as sales and marketing; office and administrative support; food preparation and serving; transportation and materials moving; installation, maintenance and repair; management; production; and education training and library jobs.

Locally, unemployment figures show Highland County at 5.3 percent for August, ranking it at No. 17 among Ohio’s 88 counties, according to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services.

Highland County’s neighbor to the south, Adams County, had the third-highest jobless rate in the state at 6.6 percent while to the north, Fayette County was almost in the middle of the pack at No. 46 with a 4.2 percent unemployment rate.

September jobless figures for counties, cities and metropolitan areas will be available on Tuesday, Oct. 22, the ODJFS said.

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in September, with the number of persons sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers remaining unchanged at 4.4 million.

The labor department described these individuals as those who would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.

Fannin said that according to the 2019 Highland County Community Needs Assessment, provided by the Highland County Community Action Organization, it was interesting to note that the labor force in Highland County has decreased more than 10 percent since the 2008 recession.

“It’s unclear, according to this report, if the decrease in our local labor force is a result of residents aging out, moving out of the area or exiting for some other reason,” she said. “So while there seems to be plenty of employment opportunities in and around Highland County, I think what we’re really seeing is a decreased number of available workers.”

According to Ohio Means Jobs/Highland County, local employers that are currently hiring include: Wilkin Heating and Air Conditioning, Home Helpers, Bell Gardens Place, Heartland, Hillsboro Police Department, Hillsboro Waste Water Treatment Plant, Pizza Hut, Sentry Electrical Group, Inc., NAPA Auto Parts, Aaron’s, ResCare, Roehl Transport, Inc., StandardAero, Mason Company, Advance Auto Parts, Highland County Engineer with a highway maintenance worker 1, McDonald’s, KFC with a general manager, the United States 2020 Census Bureau with various Highland County census worker positions, and CVS.

Companies in Washington C.H. with current employment opportunities include Fayette County Memorial Hospital, the Fayette County Board of Developmental Disabilities, and McKesson.

Employers in the Wilmington area include Ferno-Washington, Inc., R&L Carriers, Bright Farms, ABX Air and The Azek Company, which is hiring for TimberTech.

“I’d also like to thank all the employers and local resource agencies who participated in our ‘2019 Fall Employment & Resource Fair,’ which was held Friday at the Ohio Means Jobs Center in Hillsboro,” she said.

More current job openings can be viewed at and

The October report on the nation’s economy is scheduled to be released Friday, Nov. 1 at 8:30 a.m.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Highland Co. labor forced reduced 10 percent since 2008

By Tim Colliver

[email protected]