Scattered about the news lately have been a range of stories that show reasons to be optimistic about Ohio’s economy.

The Dayton Daily News recently reported that economists are predicting that the upcoming holiday season will be the best Ohio has seen in five years for spending. Of course, one positive shopping season does not mean that our economy is completely recovered, but considering that about 20 percent of retailers’ annual sales occur during this time of year, these numbers are definitely a positive sign.

Additionally, between 480,000 and 500,000 seasonal jobs are expected to be added nationwide, according to the National Retail Association. Although seasonal jobs are obviously not as ideal as permanent ones, they do provide valuable on-the-job experience for young workers that can help them gain full-time employment later, as well as supplying employees with supplemental income during the holiday season.

Another job-creating opportunity currently underway in Ohio is through drilling the state’s underground natural gas and oil reserves. Much of the actual drilling would take place in the eastern half of the state, but there is a proposal to build a pipeline that would stretch from Ohio to Texas that would intersect Warren County. The construction of the pipeline could create about 4,000 temporary and full-time employees.

Besides the jobs that could be created and the economic boost the development of natural resources would provide for Ohio, the oil and natural gas that could be harvested from our soil would also hopefully reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. In 2010, the United States’ trade deficit for petroleum-related products was $265 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is not only bad economic policy as it relates to our ever-expanding national debt, but it can also pose a major security threat to our country. It is important that we move forward on efforts to become more energy-independent.

Economic recovery does not happen overnight, but there continues to be signs that progress is being made in Ohio. Our state should strive to be a leader, an example for other states to follow.


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