Amish Entrepreneurship Keeps Holmes County's Unemployment Rate Among the Lowest in Ohio

Jun 22, 2018

Holmes County, the heart of Amish Country, consistently continues to have one of  lowest unemployment rates in the state. Entrepreneurship Intern Emma Keating reports on what sets the county apart.

Holmes County’s unemployment rate in May was 2.9 percent, the second lowest in the state -- lower than neighboring counties and the state average of 4.3 percent.

Shasta Mast is the executive director of the Holmes County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. She has one explanation.

“Entrepreneurship," she says.

Mast says the Amish community makes up about half of Holmes’ 43,000 residents, and for them, starting businesses is a way of life.

“Our residents have an entrepreneurial spirit that is really unparalleled and they just steadily innovate. When they see a need, they strive to find a way to fill it. And as a result, we have so very many locally grown businesses," she says. 

Mast says these businesses are often cash-based, and grow conservatively, without taking on debt. This steady expansion helps them avoid the ups and downs of economic cycles.