Unemployment in Champaign County dropped 1.4 percentage points in April, the largest drop in the Clark-Champaign area in at least five years.
Champaign County’s unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in March to 6.3 percent in April, mainly because of job gains in the county, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Champaign County added about 300 new jobs while its labor force stayed the same.
The unemployment rate in Clark County also fell from 7.6 percent in March to 6.7 percent in April.
ODJFS spokesman Ben Johnson said month-to-month rate comparisons normally are not completely accurate signs of economic growth, and local numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
“But even looking at the same two months in previous years, we’re seeing a large decrease in unemployment that was driven entirely by hiring. That’s great news for Champaign County,” he said.
In Champaign County companies are seeking new hires in droves — help wanted signs are up frequently and companies are calling Champaign Technology & Employment Center for help filling positions, said Eric Welty, workforce supervisor for Champaign and Logan County Department of Job and Family Services.
“The ball is rolling, and I think we will continue rolling with the success our employers are having,” Welty said. “We seem to have somewhat weathered the storm and are coming out (of recession). Our employers locally are really doing well.”
Welty said because of the demand for jobs, CTEC is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today with a record number of 47 employers. The fair is at the Champaign County Community Center Auditorium, 1512 U.S. 68.
Clark County has also seen some job growth, but the labor force has dropped by around 700 people, Johnson said. He said ODJFS does not poll people on why they leave the labor force. But he mentioned that sometimes people who have been unemployed for a long time often feel frustrated and give up. Others go back to school or retire from work.
Johnson said that while Champaign County’s large unemployment drop is uncommon, typically unemployment does fall slightly from March to April over the last decade.
“There’s definitely seasonal factors. Statewide, we saw about 5,300 leisure and hospitality jobs that we normally expect to see this time of year,” Johnson said.
These jobs include amusement parks and golf courses.
For more information regarding the Champaign County job fair, call 937-484-1500.
Last six months of unemployment rates
April 2013 - 6.7 percent
March 2013 – 7.6 percent
February 2013 – 7.4 percent
January 2013 – 8.3 percent
December 2012 – 6.4 percent
November 2012 – 6.3 percent
April 2013 – 6.3 percent
March 2013 – 7.7 percent
February 2013 – 7.3 percent
January 2013 – 8 percent
December 2012 – 6.2 percent
November 2012 – 6.2 percent
Staying with the story
The Springfield News-Sun combs through pages upon pages of public data so you don’t have to. We regularly analyze labor statistics and does monthly unemployment rate updates to bring you the latest in area job information.