Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant Virtual Museum

Local Impact of the Plant

The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant has had a significant impact on southern Ohio. This section covers the impact the plant had during the construction phase in the 1950s.

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A special survey of the labor market in the area of the project was made at its inception by the Division of Research and Statistics of the Bureau of Unemployment Compensation, Columbus, Ohio in cooperation with the Division of Reports and Analysis of the Bureau of Unemployment Security, Washington, D.C.

This survey covered seven Ohio counties: Ross, Pike, Scioto, Jackson, Vinton, Highland, and Adams. The first four counties listed constituted the central, or Portsmouth­-Chillicothe, labor market area.

Industrially, the entire area surveyed had not been advancing, and a comparison of the census figures for the years 1940 and 1950 indicated an actual decrease in overall population.

The survey of the area showed a local surplus estimated to consist of: 2,650 available unemployed, 6,500 as new entrants into the labor force, 2,050 as out-commuters who would accept local employment, and 1,150 to become available from declining industry in the area.

In addition to this labor surplus, it was anticipated that approximately 6,100 workers were available and would commute from outside the immediate four-county area, giving a total of 18,500 workers available within commuting distance to meet part of the over­all prospective labor demand.

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