Utica Shale Drilling Causes Unemployment Drop in Eastern OH

The Coshocton County, Ohio unemployment rate has been stubbornly high, but now it’s starting to move lower. In May of this year the unemployment rate for Coshocton stood at 9.3 percent. It was 10.2 percent in April, one month earlier. And if you go back a year to May 2011, it was 11.3 percent. In fact, the current 9.3 percent rate is the lowest rate seen in Coshocton County since 2008.

What’s caused the Coshocton unemployment rate to go 2 percent lower in just one year? Yep, much of it can be credited to Utica Shale drilling.

Utica Shale also is playing a role, [Coshocton County Port Authority Director Dorothy] Skowrunski said. So far, there only are three Utica permits for Coshocton County, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, but already Skowrunski has noticed an increase in trucking jobs, she said.

If Utica activity continues to increase, that will mean even more jobs, not just for those working directly for oil and gas companies but for ancillary businesses such as hotels, restaurants and Laundromats as well, she said.

"They’re gearing up for fracking, and they need a variety of different kinds of people to come in and fill those jobs," she said. "… Everyone’s going to be competing for those employees."*

*Coshocton (OH) Tribune (Jun 20, 2012) – County jobless rate lowest since ’08

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