Significant “Bounce Back” Predicted For Local Economy

CHAMBERSBURG – A local economic strategist said Franklin County’s economy will bounce back significantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have real strong feelings of optimism,” said Mike Ross, President of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation. “We are a microcosm of what’s happening around the country right now.”

Ross cited the many help wanted signs popping up around the area as proof that the economy is started to rebound.

Photo: Facebook/Franklin County Area Development Corporation

Jobs numbers around the Tri-State Area are showing signs of improvement. Hagerstown’s unemployment rate dropped four percent from March to July. Franklin County’s unemployment peaked at 12.2% in July despite nearly 69,000 people being employed.

“COVID has done a lot of things to us in terms of our economy, but it did not relocate us,” Ross said. “We are still positioned on Interstate 81 and company’s still want this location; they still want to be here.”

One of the area’s many assets is the diversification of the job market. Franklin County employs many workers in various sectors including health care, agriculture, manufacturing, to transportation and logistics.

Another positive trend that locals can look forward to is growth in the housing market.

“Civil engineers are swamped with out-of-town developers looking at Franklin County as a place for major housing development,” said Ross. “People who are living in the Baltimore-Washington Metro area know that they can get can out of high-density areas and telework from home.”

Ross said the area’s growth will become apparent over the next 12-24 months.