Economy moving in right direction

Seneca County received good news this week on the economic front, at least as far as jobless statistics are concerned. The unemployment rate dropped from 4.9 percent in April to 4.7 percent in May, according to civil labor force estimates from Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

That puts the county below the statewide rate of 5.5 percent. Fewer than two dozen Ohio counties had rates lower than 4.7 percent.

The local jobless rate hasn’t been this low for nearly eight years.

While that’s a welcome change, that doesn’t mean county leaders and development officials can take a break from efforts to make the employment picture even brighter. Not when 1,300 people still are looking for work.

That’s why it was heartening to hear from David Zak, president and CEO of Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., as he spoke to county commissioners Tuesday.

Zak said his goals for SIEDC include creating a business climate in the county that would promote the creation of 1,000 jobs in the next 10 years.

That is ambitious, and the right kind of attitude to take in moving the county forward. Zak spelled out his goals for SIEDC while asking the commissioners to boost financial support for the organization. Given that an improving local economy should manifest itself in greater tax revenues, that’s a reasonable request.

And, considering the SIEDC chief outlined specific goals for himself and the nonprofit development group, commissioners can see tangible results of funds awarded to the entity. We urge the board to find the extra $8,000 being sought in the next county budget.