Examining the Community Workforce

Athens County is part of a larger regional work shed where more workers commute into our county from surrounding counties than go out for other employment. Higher rural unemployment rates equal a readily available workforce. Quality employees stay put rather than “shopping around” for the next best job.


Athens County Workforce Economic Snapshot

A region’s workforce is a critical measure of its economic success.  Athens County has a labor force of 30,038 with a little over 26,500 people actively employed.

Athens County Workforce Statistics  Economic Data Points
Civilian Labor Force 30,038
Employed 26,580
Unemployment Rate 5.50%
Mean Travel Time to Work (mins) 20.2
Median Household Income $33,773.00
Median Family Income $50,820.00
Per Capita Income $17,069.00



Southeast Ohio Regional County Workforce Comparison

Athens County is a regional economic leader- 84.59% of the workforce stay in Athens County each day to work. While Athens County is only the 40th largest county in the state of Ohio, it is relatively large for the Appalachian Region and competes with similar sized Southeast Ohio counties such Washington, Lawrence, Muskingum and Tuscarawas to be the economic leader in Southeast Ohio

Southeast Ohio County Unemployment Rate Median Family Income College Grad Rate
Athens 5.5% $50,820 39%
Washington 6.7% $43,512 16.6%
Lawrence 6.5% $42,918 14.8%
Muskingum 6.2% $40,937 16.6%
Tuscarawas 5.6% $44,656 14.7%


Athens County Major Employers

Major Employers as of June 2016 Approximate Total
* Ohio University 4,169
OhioHealth O’Bleness Hospital+ AMA (Athens Medical Associates) 682
Athens County 567
Hocking College 550
Walmart 310
Athens City Schools 417
Rocky Brands 350
Quidel 172
Alexander Local School District 198
City of Athens 180
Nelsonville-York School District 160
Holzer Clinic 149
The Athens Messenger 98
Sunpower, Inc. 62
Don Wood Automotive 115
City of Nelsonville 49
Federal Hocking 140
Trimble 127
EDMap 83
Jackie O’s 123
Lowe’s 102
* To include all  Regional Campuses 5,155


Note: These numbers were self-reported by Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and include both full time and part time employees.


Workforce Development Programs & Resources

To be sure you’re on the right track when it comes to building a work culture in your business, it’s essential to know where you can go to get help creating just the right team of employees. Athens County has a wealth of resources for this process, and these organizations can help you make the most of your team:

Ohio Means Jobs – Athens County (The Work Station)

The Work Station is Athens County’s “one-stop” employment and training center, offering free services to existing or potential businesses. Free employer services include trainings, screening, special population placement, and more.


Ohio Learn to Earn

Ohio Learn to Earn matches individuals looking for work with businesses looking to hire. It gives employers the opportunity to train potential employees at no cost and individuals the opportunity to enhance their skills, network and earn a training certification. Contact John Bateman at or 740-797-1405 for more information.



This is a federally funded program that helps employers hire and train individuals for long-term employment by offsetting the wages paid to eligible new-hires. Contact Ohio Means Jobs – Athens County for more information at 740-797-1405 or


JobsOhio Workforce Grant

The JobsOhio Workforce Grant was created to promote economic development, business expansion, and job creation by providing funding for the improvement of worker skills and abilities in the State of Ohio. Grant decisions are based on a number of project factors, including but not limited to job creation, additional payroll, fixed-asset investment commitment, project return on investment, and project location.


Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program

The Ohio Incumbent Workforce Training Voucher Program fills a gap in current workforce development programs by providing needed training funds to Ohio’s incumbent workforce through a unique public/private partnership. The ultimate goal is twofold: allow employers to retain and grow their existing Ohio workforce and create a statewide workforce that can meet the present and future demands in an ever-changing economy.


Work Opportunity Tax Credit

Federal tax credits are  available to employers that hire individuals from eligible target groups. Assistance in reaching job seekers from the eligible target groups is available by contacting Ohio Means Jobs – Athens County at 740-797-1405 or 


Education & Internships Resources

Career Connections Staffing Agency

Tri-County Career Center 

Ohio University

Hocking College