Jan. 26—The unemployment rates in Clark and Champaign counties continue to be at their lowest since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Clark County, the number of residents listed as employed went up in December and in Champaign County that number went down slightly.
In addition, there were more Clark County residents employed at the end of 2021 than the previous year. But, the combined total of people either working or looking for work, known as the labor force, is still below what was reported pre-pandemic.
Those estimates in the unemployment rate as well as the number of residents either employed or looking for work were released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The latest estimates were released Tuesday.
The unemployment rate in Clark County went from 3.5% in November to 3.3% in December. In Champaign County, that rate stayed the same between both months at 2.9%.
The number of Clark County residents listed as employed in some form went from 59,900 to 60,200 during those two months, while in Champaign County the estimated employment dropped by 100 to 18,600 people.
But Clark County had more residents working by the end of 2021 than compared to the same period in 2020 that saw an estimated 59,100 employed in some form.
But employment in the county as well as the labor force was still higher during the same period in 2019, which saw an estimated 60,700 people employed and a total labor force of 63,400.
The labor force for Clark County in December of 2021 was 62,200 up by 100 when compared to the previous month. The same two month period in 2020 saw that number going from 62,300 to 62,100.
But, 2021′s figures did show an unexpected increase in both the labor force and employment when compared to traditional labor trends seen during November and December.
The labor force in Clark County increased by 350 more people than what is normally observed between November and December and employment increased by 800, said Bill LaFayette, an economist and owner of Regionomics, a Columbus-based economics and workforce consulting firm..
This comes as there has been a huge demand for workers as many industries are reeling from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the demand for workers is still outpacing the amount of applicants looking to fill those positions.
In Champaign County, the number of people employed went from 18,700 to 18,600 between November and December. The labor force also dropped from 19,300 to 19,100.
That was down from what was reported during the same period in 2020, in which employment went from 19,00 to 18,800 and the labor force went from 19,700 to 19,600.