Clark County labor force, employment, sees slight decline

But officials say jobs are available and employers are hiring

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Employment in Clark County dipped slightly between August and September, as well as the total number of people who were either employed in some form or actively looking for work, according to the latest jobs report.

Even with the employment decline, there are currently 1,800 open job positions available in Springfield alone, and officials say that employers are looking to hire.

“We have many of our employers still trying to fill positions. A lot of those jobs are still available, and employers are still somewhat struggling to find qualified applicants,” said Virginia Martycz, the director of Clark County Department of Job & Family Services.

The latest counties employment statistics were released this week by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and looks at the month of September.

Both Clark and Champaign counties saw a decrease in the unemployment rate in September when compared to August.

In Clark County, the unemployment rate went from 5.3% to 5%, and in Champaign County that rate went from 4.7% to 4.3%.

The number of residents estimated to be employed in Clark County between August and September went from 58,900 to 58,700. The combined total of residents employed and those actively looking for work, known as the labor force, went from 62,200 to 61,800 between those two months.

That is based on estimates and surveys used by the ODJFS.

In Champaign County, the results looked a little different, as the area saw a slight increase in the number of residents employed and an unchanged labor force.

The number of residents estimated to be employed in Champaign County in August was 18,200. That number went up by 100 in September.

The labor force in the county stayed the same for both August and September at 19,100.

Though it is hard to pinpoint what exactly causes the month-to-month changes in local labor force and employment numbers, employers have been vocal about trying to fill available job openings.

Reasons for lower labor force participation or employment during the pandemic can be due to a number of reasons such as people rethinking their job trajectory, caution or hesitancy pertaining to certain jobs or working conditions during the pandemic and other factors such as rising number of COVID related cases or existing pre-pandemic difficulties in attracting skilled labor in certain industries.

How that impacts applicants looking for jobs depends on an individual basis, said Martycz.

Whatever the case may be, some employers are having trouble filling open positions, and many who left the local workforce last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to return, said Martycz.

She added that they have not seen large numbers of people coming back. However, that may change in the near future.

According to Clark County Department of Job & Family Services, there were 1,800 jobs across all industries within Springfield city limits. Martycz said the majority of job openings in Clark County are in Springfield.

Labor force and employment numbers in Clark County in September are different than what was reported during the same month last year.

There was a dip in the labor force between those two periods with that number going from 62,600 to 61,800.

However, the number of residents employed in Clark County was lower in September 2020 as that number was estimated to be 58,200.

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