Report: Athens County Has Recovered From Recession

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A new report by the National Association of Counties said Athens County has recovered from the economic ground it lost during the Great Recession. 

The report found that each part of the country varied in its recovery and according to Emilia Istrate, NACO Research Director, "parts of the country had no recession at all." 

Richard Vedder, an economist at Ohio University, said this report is "good news." 

"Athens has had a good recovery and all the statistics (unemployment statistics, housing statistics and job growth statistics) point in that direction," he said. 

Vedder has one idea as to why the local economy recovered so well. 

"We are a government ruled economy," he said. "We have universities in the county. We have a large correctional facility in the county. We have mental health facilities in the county. Government employment is relatively stable employment. Not necessarily high-wage employment. Not necessarily booming, but it's stable. Economies benefit from this stability."

A local business owner said that although business is good, he is unsure if he's seen a full recovery since the recession. 

"I'd like to see another year and see where we are then," said Josh Thomas, owner of Brenen's Coffee Cafe. "One thing we've noticed here at Brenen's is credit card usage is up a good bit. So, is that students are willing to spend more or are they borrowing more?"

Overall, the report showed things are looking up for Athens County. However, neighboring counties such as Morgan and Perry are still struggling in job numbers and unemployment rates. 

NACO has an interactive county tracker on its website detailing the report.