More people working in Clark, Champaign counties

More people are working now in Clark and Champaign counties than at same time last year, but that number has remained flat so far this year.

The unemployment rate for Clark County in February stands at 6.2 percent, according to state jobs data released Tuesday. That’s down from 7.8 percent in Clark County in February 2013.

The labor force — which indicates how many people are either working or actively looking for work — in Clark County grew from 68,300 people in February last year to 68,600 this year.

Hiring has remained fairly steady, local officials said, and a job fair will likely be scheduled in May.

Companies have been hiring in several industries including manufacturing, along with area companies like Speedway, CodeBlue and Assurant Specialty Property, said Amy Donahoe, director of hiring and employer services for the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

Some area manufacturing companies also are hiring for positions such as accountants and office professionals, Donahoe said.

“We’re just really working to find quality people to fill the openings we currently have,” she said. “They’re out there, we just need to make the connection.”

Assurant is consistently looking for qualified employees, said Robert Byrd, a spokesman for the company.

“We’re proud to be one of the leading employers in the Springfield area,” he said. “Assurant Specialty Property employs more than 2,000 in Springfield, and more than 200 in Dayton, where we opened a satellite office last year. We’re always on the lookout for great people to join our team. Currently, we have more than 30 job openings in Springfield, as well as a handful in Dayton.”

The date of a potential job fair hasn’t been scheduled but it will likely take place in May. There is enough demand from employers that the chamber likely won’t have trouble filling available booths, Donahoe said.

“Space is going to be at a premium, honestly,” she said.

Figures released Tuesday by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services showed the number of employees remained flat at 64,300 in Clark County and at 18,800 in Champaign County from January to February of this year.

Both the number of residents in the workforce and the number of people considered unemployed fell between January and February this year in both Clark and Champaign counties.

In Champaign County, 500 more people were working last month than in February 2013, according to information from the ODJFS. The unemployment rate there fell from 7.4 to 5.7 percent between 2013 and this February.

The monthly report is not seasonally adjusted, and the number of people working tends to fluctuate from month to month, said Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the Ohio DJFS.

“While there are fluctuations in any given month in any given county, the general trend is positive,” Johnson said.

A separate survey of businesses showed jobs in manufacturing and several other industries remained flat in Clark County between January and February this year. The region lost about 100 jobs in the retail sector but added about 100 jobs in educational and health services.

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