Clark, Champaign counties see unemployment rate go down in August

A customer walks past a "Now Hiring" sign at the entrance to Home Depot in Springfield earlier this year. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
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A customer walks past a "Now Hiring" sign at the entrance to Home Depot in Springfield earlier this year. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Labor force also saw a decrease, likely a result of pandemic, economist says.

The unemployment rate in Clark and Champaign counties went down between July and August.

The combined total of people working or looking for work in those counties also decreased during those two months.

In Clark County, the unemployment rate went from 6.4% to 5.4% between those months and in Champaign County it went from 5.3% to 4.7%.

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That is according to the latest numbers released this month by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The number of people employed in Clark County increased from 57,800 to 58,400 and the total number of people employed or looking for work, known as the labor force, decreased from 61,800 to 61,700 in August.

In Champaign County the number of people employed decreased from 18,200 to 18,100 and the labor force decreased from 19,200 to 19,000.

In Clark County, the labor force was 200 people less than what is normally expected between July and August, according to Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.

The increase in unemployment and a slight decrease in the labor force in Clark County caused unemployment to go down by 1% between July and August.

The decrease in labor force can be a result of the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the uncertainty the delta variant has caused, LaFayette said.

However, when compared to last year, the labor force in August was much higher in 2020. The labor force in August 2020 was estimated to be 64,100 compared to the 61,700 reported during the same month this year.

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The number of people that were listed as employed was the same for August 2020 and August 2021, as the number of Clark County residents estimated to have some form of employment was 58,400 during both those time periods.

In Champaign County, the labor force was estimated at 20,100 in August 2020 and the number of residents employed was estimated at 18,600.

A rise in pandemic related cases as well as supply chain issues can also have an impact on labor force and employment numbers in the future.

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