LIMA — April was another record-breaking month for northwest Ohio.
Allen County’s jobless rate fell to 3% in April, breaking the previous record set in Oct. 2000 for what is now the county’s lowest recorded unemployment rate since 1970, according to current and historical estimates provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This is now the second consecutive month that Allen County’s jobless rate has reached record-lows. The latest jobless rate and labor force estimates were released by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services on Tuesday.
Those BLS estimates for April suggest there are more jobs than people actively looking for work in Allen County: There were more than 2,100 jobs advertised by Ohio Means Jobs within a 10-mile radius of Lima on Tuesday, while there were just 1,500 unemployed people seeking work in April.
The entire nine-county region saw record-low unemployment in April, with Mercer County leading the region and state with a jobless rate of 1.9% that month.
Still, the data show Allen County’s labor force shrunk by 400 persons between March (48,300) and April (47,900),, falling below 48,000 for the first time this year. And there were only 100 new jobs in April (46,500) compared to March (46,400).
The jobless rate only counts those who are drawing unemployment.
“That doesn’t cover disengaged workers or people who haven’t worked in a long time,” said Joe Patton, director of Ohio Means Jobs–Allen County.
But Patton said it’s an employee’s market as recruiters struggle to fill open positions. He recommended that now is a good time for those who left the workforce early or who have been underemployed to seek work again.
“The field is so strong right now, if you’re willing to show up the jobs are out there right now,” Patton said. “It’s the best it’s ever been historically. … If they’re looking to reengage in the workforce, this is the time to do it.”
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.