Good news on the jobs front

Published 9:52 pm Wednesday, May 9, 2012

According to employment figures released last week, there continue to be some encouraging signs of life for our local, regional and state economies.

For March, the jobless rates for the city of Suffolk and for Isle of Wight County were down from both February and a year ago. Both Hampton Roads’ and Virginia’s jobless numbers also were down for the month.

It’s a positive sign, indeed, but not an indication that we are out of the woods when it comes to job creation and the health of our economy.

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Continued improvement will require sustained effort on the part of our local governments and regional economic development partnerships. Each of the cities and counties of Hampton Roads and Western Tidewater will, of course, continue to compete for economic development prospects. But each must also recall that the region as a whole competes with other regions all along the East Coast for business expansions, relocations and startups.

Cooperation with state and regional economic efforts, which resulted in the Green Mountain Coffee, Ace Hardware and other local economic development projects that have been announced in the past year or so, will continue to pay dividends as well.

The combined efforts of local, state and federal representatives also played a big role in the repurposing of International Paper’s Franklin Mill, too, and that development will have an important psychological, if not economic impact on Western Tidewater.

We hope that a renewed sense of cooperation takes hold among all stakeholders in our economy’s future, and we look forward to reporting that even more of our friends and neighbors are employed in the months ahead.