There has been steady growth in Clark County’s labor force —which tracts those employed in some capacity or actively looking for work— since May, even though there was a decrease in November.
During that period there has been an increase of over 1,000 people in the labor force, said Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.
At the end of last month, Clark County’s labor force consisted of 64,100 compared to 64,700 in October. In October there was a bump of 1,100 people looking for or who were employed in the county compared to September.
LaFayette described that bump as larger than what is usually seen between those months. He said it was an example of the unemployment rate rising for the right reasons at the time since more people were looking for work.
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Despite the drop in the labor force in November, he said the overall labor trend seen towards the latter half of this year has been positive.
“Generally if you see a drop in the labor force, people are pessimistic about the likelihood of finding a job. However, you cannot conclude that from a one month change,” LaFayette said.
It is something reflected in the data once adjusted to take into account seasonal trends such as holiday hiring and school schedules, LaFayette said.
He said once seasonally adjusted, the drop in Clark County’s unemployment rate between October and November stayed relatively the same, going from 5.4% to 4.9%. He said the change in the labor force between those months was 400 people shy of what is usually seen that time of year.
In Champaign County, the labor force, not seasonally adjusted, stayed at 20,200 between October and November. However, employment increased by 300 during the same period. The number people listed as employed in some capacity in the county last month was 19,500.
Unemployment rates 2019
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