Unemployment rates increased in Clark, Champaign counties in June

Michelle Brandel, human resource director at Gordon Food Service, talks to a job applicant during a hiring event in June. BILL LACKEY/STAFF
Michelle Brandel, human resource director at Gordon Food Service, talks to a job applicant during a hiring event in June. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

More residents in those counties were either employed or looking for work.

The unemployment rate increased in Clark and Champaign counties in June, though more residents were either employed or looking for work during that month.

The unemployment rate in Clark County went from 6.1% in May to 6.6% in June. However, the number of people listed as employed increased, going from 57,000 to 57,800 during those two months.

The labor force in that county, which is a combination of residents employed and those looking for work, also increased from 60,700 to 61,900.

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In Champaign County, the unemployment rate went from 4.9% in May to 5.6% in June. But the number of residents employed slightly increased from 18,000 to 18,200.

The overall labor force in that county also went from 19,000 to 19,300, according to data from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Though an increase in the labor force is expected between May and June , the increase this year surpassed trends typically seen, said Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm.

LaFayette said when taking into account seasonal factors that may impact labor trends, Clark County saw 700 more people in its labor force than what is normally seen in June. The same increase occurred in terms of employed residents.

“Typically we see an increase because people are coming out of school and going into the labor force,” LaFayette said.

Traditionally, college students entering the workforce has lead to an increase in the overall labor force between May and June.

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However, the increase this year could also be a result of more people looking for work or finding employment as the economy recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The lessening economic impact of the pandemic is probably greater than people coming out of school,” LaFayette said of the factors that contributed to an increase in Clark County’s labor force in June.

Statewide restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic have also been lifted, including those regarding masks and social distancing. That occurred in the beginning of June.

But if cases related to the coronavirus pandemic trend upwards it will have an impact on that recovery. That increase could affect consumer confidence or cause people to shelter in place again, LaFayette added.