“I am cautiously optimistic,” city commissioner Diedre Cole said of the new numbers, “but I feel this is lag time of the summer tourist season. We will probably see a seasonal shift again.”
Cole, like other local officials, is always hoping the region can offer well-paying jobs all year long.
One possible way to help in that effort: establish a bus line from Toledo to Sandusky to Cleveland, she said. “Even one bus a day, to and from, opens up the job market to residents,” Cole said.
Erie County, meanwhile, saw an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in August, down from 6.9 percent the month prior, but up slightly from the 5.9 rate in August 2012.
Ottawa County saw an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent, down from 8 percent in July, while Sandusky County’s rate was 6.6 percent, down from 7.2 percent the month prior.
Locally, Huron County had the highest unemployment rate last month, with 8.6 percent. This was well below the 11 percent in July, but still up from 8.1 percent in August last year. “I don’t understand it,” Huron County commissioner Joe Hintz said. “You look at our sales tax — that is up again. I also have a friend in construction who said they are working steady.”
Huron County officials know they’ll take another hit when Janesville Acoustics closes its plant. They’d like to prevent it from happening, but it’s a losing proposition.
“We have an industrial park that is looking like a ghost town. I hate that,” Hintz said. “My wife and I pray about it.”
Local leaders and business owners have long been trying to brainstorm new ways to retain jobs while also luring new businesses.
“We offer tax breaks,” Hintz said. “I don’t know if that is the way to go. They take advantage of it and you lose them anyway.”