Harrison Countys cost of living was 4.8 percent below the national average, but its transportation costs were 3.8 percent higher than the average urban area for the third quarter of 2008, according to a publication of the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics .

The Harrison County Economic Monitor details the cost of living, employment, income, population and construction trends in the north-central county. The College of Business and EconomicsBureau of Business and Economic Research publishes the reportsponsored by the Harrison County Development Authoritythree times a year.

Harrison Countys below-average cost of living was attributable to below-average grocery, housing, health care and miscellaneous goods and services costs,said Amy Higginbotham , BBER economist and manager of the Harrison County ACCRA survey.For the third quarter of 2008, transportation costs in the county, which included prices for a gallon of regular gasoline and a tire balancing, were 70th in the nation.

Harrison County continued to generate solid job growth during the past year, in contrast to job losses nationally and slow growth for the state.

Job gains in Harrison County during the past four quarters were driven by both the goods-producing and service-providing sectors,said George W. Hammond , associate director of the BBER .

The county generated strong job gains in construction, trade and government during the past year.

The Harrison County Economic Monitor is part of an ongoing effort by the Harrison County Economic Development Authority to expand the economic information and analysis available for the county,said David Cutlip, president of the board of directors of the Harrison County Development Authority.

Harrison Countys cost of living is estimated on a quarterly basis by BBER research personnel using a national methodology development by the Council for Community and Economic Research. Nationally, 315 cities were surveyed. BBER canvassed Harrison County businesses to collect costs on about 60 goods and services and submitted these to the council for tabulation. The goods and services priced were typical of those purchased by professional and executive households in the top 20 percent of the income distribution.

The Harrison County Economic Monitor can be accessed free of charge at www.bber.wvu.edu or at the Harrison County Economic Development Authority Web site: www.hcdawv.com . Information about the ACCRA cost-of-living survey can be found at www.coli.org .