LIMA — Allen County’s jobless rate fell for the fifth consecutive month to 7.6% in September, but declining labor force participation complicates the jobs recovery.
Preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services shows that there were 800 fewer people classified as employed in Allen County from August to September, even as the county’s unemployed population fell by 500.
About 1,300 people were no longer counted as part of Allen County’s labor force in the same period.
Preliminary September data estimate Allen County’s labor force is now just 46,300, the smallest estimate in decades.
The problem is felt both locally and nationally.
A new report from the National Women’s Law Center estimates that more than 1.1 million workers who are at least 20 years old left the labor force or were no longer seeking work in September. Eighty percent of those workers were women.
The report found that roughly half of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April have returned.
Ohio added 38,400 private-sector jobs in September, which is still about 7.3% shy of where the state was in September 2019.
Ohio’s 8.4% jobless rate in September still lags behind the U.S. rate, which was 7.9% that month.