You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Clark jobs 3,000 short of pre-recession levels

Jobs slowly coming back to Clark County, officials say.

Clark County still lags behind its pre-recession employment levels by more than 3,000 jobs, U.S. labor data shows.

And the sluggish return of jobs appears to line up, at least partially, with ongoing population declines in Clark County.

While the county hasn’t seen jobs return at a fast rate, local economic officials said employment is improving.

“I know that we’ve got a lot of growth and job development that is under way,” said Lehan Peters, deputy director of WorkPlus at Job and Family Services of Clark County. “I’m not seeing mass hiring, but we’re seeing consistent hiring.”

And local employers are increasingly working to retain the future workforce by placing high school and college students into internships, one workforce official said.

The Great Recession officially began in December 2007. During that year Clark County claimed an average of 52,400 jobs, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Jobs in the county fell to a recession low of 49,000 in 2010 and have increased since then to 49,800 on average last year.

So far this year the county has seen an average of 49,400 jobs. Although that’s less than last year’s average, those numbers aren’t seasonally adjusted and don’t take into account fluctuations of temporary hiring for the holiday season and post-holiday layoffs.

Meanwhile, the county’s population declined from about 140,000 in July 2006 to about 137,000 in July 2012, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“(Population) definitely factors in,” Peters said. “If we would delve into what (jobs are) out there or going unfilled, (employers have) been unable to find the right talent, the right skills or the right level of education.”

Schools and businesses are working to create an environment that retains high school and college students through on-the-job internships and employment, she said, which might increase both the labor force and population.

“A lot of companies … they’re starting to grow their own workforce and they’re tapping in and offering internships for these kids that are in college,” Peters said, adding high school students are now being sought to fill internships. “I think we’re going to see a lot more of that.”

Employers have also been cautious as they wait to see how such federal measures such as the health care law and sequestration will affect them, local leaders said.

“Cautiously optimistic is what I think I hear. A lot of the manufacturers and folks that we work have had some confidence to move forward with investments in machinery,” said Tom Franzen, assistant city manager and economic development director for the city of Springfield.

“Those don’t always lead to increased employment. Obviously there’s efficiencies gained when folks are buying new machinery, but it has led to some employment growth,” he added.

Franzen noted it’s unrealistic to expect the county to have grown jobs back to pre-recession levels, but said that he’s seeing steady progress.

Peters agreed, pointing to steady hiring recently at Navistar, CodeBlue and Assurant.

And the WorkPlus One-Stop job centers locally and statewide are seeing a lot of traffic, she said.

“The most important thing is we’re not seeing companies all closing their doors,” she said.

“I know through the recession we conducted one too many rapid response sessions (for layoffs), meaning we had to go out to talk to people about their next opportunity and help employers exit people out the door basically as they lost their jobs,” Peters said. “We’re not really seeing a lot of that.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Speedway to hire 1,000 workers across 9 states
Speedway to hire 1,000 workers across 9 states

Speedway will hire 1,000 workers in nine Midwest states and will host open interviews at each of its stores in the region later this month. The convenience store chain, with a headquarters in Enon, will host open interviews from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at every one of its stores in nine states, according to information from the company...
Holiday debt blues? Here’s help getting on track
Holiday debt blues? Here’s help getting on track

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau. With the holidays behind you, the new year is a great time to get your finances back on track if you’ve slipped a bit. By dedicating yourself to using credit responsibly and sticking to a sensible plan, then you can effectively pay down your debt. According to, total U.S....
New shopping center proposed at long-vacant Springfield site
New shopping center proposed at long-vacant Springfield site

A new retail development is likely coming to the east side of Springfield at a longtime vacant property, the first major commercial growth there in several years. The Springfield Board of Zoning Appeals approved Wednesday night a variance for the former Roberds site in the 3000 block of East Main Street. City documents filed by developer Springfield...
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info
Gmail phishing scam may lead users to give up login info

A new phishing scam is allowing hackers to gain access to unsuspecting Gmail users' accounts and target their login credentials, according to recent reports. Mark Maunder, CEO of security service Wordfence, described the scam in detail in a blog post, adding that it is also targeting other services beyond Gmail. Tech Times reported that the scam involves...
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement
Millennials spend more on coffee, save less for retirement

A large number of Millennials spent more on coffee in the past year than they invested in their retirement savings, according to a new study. » RELATED: What makes Millennials tick in the workplace? It may surprise you About 41 percent of the Millennials — ages 18 to 35 — admitted to spending more on coffee than they saved for retirement...
More Stories