|Labor force numbers in the month of May since the Year 2000.|
The latest numbers from the Ohio Labor Market Information folks are out today. Though it's the May unemployment rates that could grab the headline, it's the employment and labor force numbers that make more sense for attention.
The numbers could lead to a report that the unemployment rate is up in Licking County and the region versus last month and last year. Though reporting a 0.2% increase in the rate is accurate, reporting that alone would be a bit deceiving.
The headline could simply be: Employment Numbers Hit Record Highs For May
There are 600 more people employed in Licking County than there was a year ago in May with 80,000 employed. There has never been 80,000 people employed in Licking County in the month of May in our history.
Thus, that number is the highest Licking County employment level in the month of May, ever. In fact, that employment number is just a 200 off of the all-time high employment level in Licking County.
At 85,600 in May 2013, the labor force totals are also an all-time high for a month of May. The all-time high labor force size is 86,000 set in July 2010. An increasing labor force is a positive sign of growth and could be interpreted as increased optimism in the job market.
So, though we can regret 300 more people report to be unemployed than last year at this time, we can be joyful that the employment side of the equation is doubly good news.