Unemployment rates drop in Clark, Champaign counties in September

Clark County had an unemployment rate of 7.5% in September, decreasing from the 8.4% reported in August. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

caption arrowCaption
Clark County had an unemployment rate of 7.5% in September, decreasing from the 8.4% reported in August. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Unemployment rates in Clark and Champaign counties continued to drop in September following a gradual decrease in those rates after sharply spiking in April due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Clark County had an unemployment rate of 7.5% in September, decreasing from the 8.4% reported in August. In Champaign County, the unemployment rate dropped by 1% between August and September, going from 7.1% to 6.1%.

Both of those counties saw large spikes in their unemployment rates in April during the height of a statewide stay-at-home order designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The order called for businesses to close their doors if they were not deemed essential.

ExploreNew boutique opening in Springfield

At that time, the unemployment rate went from 5.3% in March to 17.4% in April in Clark County, while going from 4.6% to 20.1% in Champaign County.

Ohio began re-opening portions of its economy in May. Since then, unemployment rates have been gradually declining.

Both counties saw a decrease in the number of people either looking for work or employed in September when compared to the previous month.

The labor force, which tracks those numbers, in Clark County went from 64,200 in August to 63,300 in September. The number of people listed as employed decreased slightly going from 58,800 to 58,600.

The number of people either employed or looking for work in Champaign County decreased slightly from 19,900 to 19,800. However, the number of people listed as employed increased in the county between August and September. That number went from 18,500 to 18,600.

“The reason for the decline in the unemployment rate (in Clark County) is more of a decline in workforce than an increase in employment,” said Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.

He said the labor force in Clark County dropped by about 450 more than what is usually seen between August and September.

LaFayette said that traditionally there is a drop in that number between those two months as students are leaving the workforce to go back to school. However, it was greater this year than previous trends.

He said that the labor force in Clark County has been fairly stable so far this year, despite changes in that number when compared to previous years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

ExploreClark County in deadliest month of coronavirus cases, health commissioner says

LaFayette said though the economy is gradually recovering from the impact of the pandemic, it is still unpredictable what that recovery will look like in the coming months as there continues to be an increase in cases.

About the Author