Clark gains 700 jobs in 2012

Latest unemployment numbers steady, but Springfield region doing better than state, nation.

Clark County generated 700 new jobs in 2012 and maintained unemployment rates below Ohio and national averages in recent months, according to a new state report.

Unemployment rates in both Clark and Champaign counties remained virtually the same from November to December, but unemployment decreased more than 2 percentage points for the year, an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services report released Tuesday said.

“The economy will continue to slowly improve through 2013, and we think the state will continue to add jobs,” said Ben Johnson, ODJFS spokesman. “But again, we’re talking about a slow recovery, which is what we’ve seen since the recession. It could be months where the unemployment rate climbs slightly or plateaus — a lot remains to be seen.”

For example, Clark County’s December unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, up slightly from 6.3 percent in November and down from 8 percent in December 2011.

In Champaign County, the unemployment rate stayed at 6.2 percent in December, which is down from 7.5 percent in December 2011.

Both counties have had unemployment rates in the 6 percent range for the last four months.

Clark and Champaign counties have both improved rates but for different reasons, Johnson said. In Champaign County, more people are finding work. In Clark County, new jobs have helped but the rate also is lower because more people have dropped out of the workforce.

The labor force in Champaign County decreased by about 100 people in 2012. In Clark County, it decreased by around 500 people, according to ODJFS data.

“That’s where we get into talking about people who have given up in looking for work, who go into early retirement or are going back to school,” Johnson said.

He said that for true economic growth, both the number of people employed and the number of people in the labor force need to improve.

“In previous recessions we have seen periods of time where labor force has grown enough that the unemployment rate has increased slightly over a period of time,” Johnson said. “That hasn’t happened yet in Ohio. What we’ve seen instead is slow growth, and there’s no denying that it’s job growth.”

But local people looking for employment are still skeptical of economic improvement.

“I don’t think the economy has improved,” said Michelle Overton, a St. Paris resident who attended a job fair in New Carlisle in October. She said she has been talking with other people in her field, accounting, and they have all had trouble finding jobs.

Overton found a job in Springfield and has been working full-time for more than a month. She said it was a unique situation where a position opened up during reorganization of a company.

But Springfield officials expect the upcoming year to be more promising than recent years. Mayor Warren Copeland said potential job-creating projects are in the works, including Prime Ohio II and the Champion City Business Park in the former Navistar International site.

“We expect to see more happening in the next 3 to 4 years than in the last 2 years,” Copeland said.

Copeland said most new jobs are created by existing employers rather than new businesses, and that the city and Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce are working to keep in contact with employers to find out what company plans are and how local officials can help.

The 700 jobs created in 2012 “is basically recovery from the recession, and in Ohio and here locally, that’s gone faster than anywhere else,” Copeland said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Ohio woman overdoses during sex, police say
Ohio woman overdoses during sex, police say

A woman who was found snoring by police overdosed during sex with her boyfriend early Wednesday, police said. >> Read more trending news Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, Dayton police and medics responded to the 400 block of Sheridan Avenue. A concerned man, the woman’s 28-year-old boyfriend, called 911 after his girlfriend overdosed during...
Meghan McCain secretly marries conservative analyst Ben Domenech
Meghan McCain secretly marries conservative analyst Ben Domenech

Meghan McCain has tied the knot. The co-host of ABC’s “The View” exchanged nuptials on Tuesday with conservative analyst Ben Domenech, 35, in a secret Sedona, Arizona, ceremony on her family’s ranch Tuesday.  “Meghan McCain and Ben Domenech were married at the McCain family lodge in Sedona, Arizona,” a representative ...
WOW Air selling flights to Europe for $99 for Black Friday
WOW Air selling flights to Europe for $99 for Black Friday

WOW Air could fly you to Europe for as low as $99. >> Read more trending news  If Black Friday sales on electronics don’t excite you, maybe a cheap flight abroad will.  Wow Air is offering discounted one-way flights from airports in Boston, Chicago and Pittsburgh to destinations like Amsterdam, London, Dublin and Reykjavik...
5 must-read stories this Thanksgiving Eve, hint: it may save your life
5 must-read stories this Thanksgiving Eve, hint: it may save your life

If you’re sitting at home with family, or stuck in the car or at the airport waiting to get to family, here are Five Must-Read Stories from this week. “The issues were not with the children but with the adults! Fighting over the last toys on the shelf, the color that they absolutely had to have, etc. I wanted to send them all home to bed...
Lesbian couple beaten, held captive for days over borrowed car, police say
Lesbian couple beaten, held captive for days over borrowed car, police say

Three Indiana men and a woman have been booked on more than 30 separate criminal charges in connection with the alleged beating and kidnapping of a married lesbian couple. One of the men, Kenneth Allen Braswell, 32, is charged with raping one of the women, according to Indianapolis jail records. Braswell is also charged with criminal confinement...
More Stories