Job seekers, including Andre Taylor, use the counter in the lobby of the Hollenbeck center to fill out job applications they received in the annual Clark County Job Fair. Bill Lackey/Staff

Jobless rates drop again in Clark, Champaign counties

Clark County unemployment rates dropped again last month, this time by seven-tenths of a percent, and unemployment is down almost a full point compared to this time last year.

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services released its April data Tuesday and it found the Clark county’s unemployment rate at 4.1 percent. Clark County’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in April of 2016.

RELATED: Clark County, state still struggle with long-term joblessness

The numbers came out the same day the Chamber of Greater Springfield and OhioMeansJobs-Clark County hosted a job fair with about 60 employers at the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center in downtown Springfield.

Amy Donahoe, director of workforce development at the Chamber, was excited by the turnout and range of industries.

“Manufacturing, health care, retail, social services — just a really wide variety of opportunities,” she said.

Many business leaders said they had positions open in Springfield that they wanted to fill now.

“This is our busy time of the year,” Speedway representative Sara Morefield said. “Our hours start going up around this time and we are looking mainly for management candidates and cashiers for our stores.”

Good organizational and communication skills are essential for a successful career at Speedway, which is based in Enon, Morefield said.

MARCH UNEMPLOYMENT: Jobless rate down in Clark, Champaign counties

Miranda Batton, who also attended the job fair on behalf of Speedway, said she looks at a candidate’s personality when deciding if they’re the right person to hire.

“They need to have a good personality and be able to talk to people,” she said. “They can’t be super shy.”

Both said they believed there are good jobs available in Clark County to those who are willing to pursue them.

“A lot of people are looking for a good candidates right now,” Batton said.

FEBRUARY UNEMPLOYMENT: Unemployment rates fall in Clark, Champaign counties

Morefield’s suggestion to anyone that’s looking for a job is to make sure the job recruiter knows he or she is a serious candidate, and leave no doubt that he or she will be committed to the job if hired.

The job fair attracted many local residents who were either looking for a job or a career change. Ashley Clarke, a Springfield native, said the job fair is a good step for Springfield leaders.

“Seeing that Springfield is actually trying to gather and better its people is absolutely amazing to me,” she said.

Many of the businesses at the fair said they’re hiring for positions that don’t require previous experience. Rhyan Baldwin with Eye-Mart said her business was hiring a receptionist and people to work in their labs.

MORE: Unemployment rate rises slightly in Clark County

“You do not have to have experience,” she said. “It is a plus, but we train on site.”

There are also fields that are growing in Clark County and the surrounding areas. The mental health field is continuing to show signs of promise, said Joy Wallace with Osterlen Services for Youth.

“Mental health therapists are needed everywhere,” she said. “It’s going to be one of the growing industry’s coming up in the future.”

Clark County was not the only county to have its unemployment rate drop. Champaign County numbers also look good. According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services, the county’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 percent, five-tenths better than a year ago.

Ohio’s overall unemployment was reported as 4.4 percent, four-tenths better than last year.

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