ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Allen County’s unemployment rate for August increased to 5%, compared to 4.1% for July, but down from 7.1% a year ago, according to information released Monday from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
The number of people in Allen County looking for work increased by 1,675 from July to August. The number of Allen County residents working declined by 3,219 in that same time period. It had the sixth highest unemployment rate for the state last month, behind Howard, Lake, LaPorte, Fayette and Miami counties respectively.
Typically labor market analysts shy away from month-over-month comparison since the local numbers do not reflect expected seasonal adjustments, such as holiday hiring or students returning to school in the fall, said Rachel Blakeman, Community Research Institute Director at Purdue University Fort Wayne. However, the monthly numbers have been important during the 18-month pandemic to identify market fluctuations.
“Some of the decline in people working in August is an expected effect of students returning to school or other summer employment concluding, especially with K-12 schools that start in mid-August or earlier,” Blakeman said. “Curiously I’m optimistic to see the bump in the number of people actively seeking employment at this point, largely because of the sheer number of open jobs right now. Unemployed workers are indicating they would like a job, so it’s now a matter of whether their skills and expectations for pay and benefits align with what is available right now. September’s numbers will help us know if people are finding work.”
On a regional level, LaGrange County’s unemployment is at 2.5% and Adams County has a 2.8% unemployment rate. Allen, Huntington and Grant counties had unemployment rates above the state’s 4.0% for August. Whitley County matched the state’s level with the remaining northeast counties coming in below 4.0%.