Website ranks Parkersburg-Vienna metro area among cities losing most jobs in 2017

WOOD COUNTY, W.Va.-(WTAP) A national business website says the Parkersburg-Vienna metro area lost jobs during the first ten months of 2017.

Courtesy of MGN Online

The website 24/7 Wall Street (www.247wallst.com) lost 559 jobs, a drop of 1.3%, between January and October.

Possibly reflected in the statistics are the closings of some major retailers. The South Side Parkersburg K-Mart closed in March, and the Vienna K-Mart plans to close in early January.

On November 28, Elder-Beerman announced its Grand Central Mall store would close at the end of January, although another retailer will occupy that location soon after.

There have been some positive announcements this year, however, including plans by Hino Motors to locate a new manufacturing plant a the former Coldwater Creek site in Parkersburg by 2019.

Vienna's mayor, however, is upbeat about the future.

"Obviously, the road bond passing is going to change things," Mayor Randy Rapp said recently. "There are going to be a lot of people in here who have to eat and have a place to live here. I believe the changes that are coming with the Marcellus Shale are going to continue to develop. I honestly believe the future is going to be very bright for the Mid-Ohio Valley."

Lindsey Kerr-Piersol, Director of the Wood County Development Authority, says unemployment in Wood County has declined since she came to the area in March, 2016.

"(The area is) in a better place than it was in previous years," Piersol said Friday.

Beckley was also listed among the website's "Bottom 25", ranking 20th.