LIMA — The holiday season may be bringing more than cheer. It seems that it has also brought jobs to Lima.
October data shows that unemployment decreased in Allen County and eight surrounding counties since September, and Eric Davis, coordinator of strategic workforce development at Allen Economic Development Group, thinks it may have to do with seasonal hiring.
“Seasonal hiring is one of those things that always tend to bring the numbers up a smidge,” he said. “[Businesses] are feeling the pressure to build on that side too, but there are still gaps.”
The unemployment rate in Lima went from 5.8 percent in September to 5.4 percent in October, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
With seasonal hiring and sales starting earlier, October’s numbers could have been affected.
In Allen County, the unemployment rate decreased from 5 percent in September to 4.5 percent in October.
All of the area counties’ unemployment rates decreased, with Mercer County (down to 2.7 percent), Auglaize County (3.2 percent), Van Wert County (3.9 percent), Hardin County (4 percent) and Putnam County (5 percent).
Ohio’s rate was also down in October. It decreased .3 percentage points from September’s 5.6 percent.
The number of employed individuals in Allen County was the highest it has been since December 2008, at 46,400, something Davis calls an “amazing uptick.”
“It’s pretty remarkable that the cycle has been able to come back around and we’re back around and we’re better than where we were in 2008,” he said.
The U.S. unemployment rate for October was 5.8 percent, down from 5.9 percent in September, and down from 7.2 percent in October 2013.