FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Unemployment numbers are remaining steady and officials are beginning to look at year over year numbers as opposed to month over month.

Looking at Northeast Indiana there are fewer people unemployed but actively looking for work. Rachel Blakeman, director of Purdue University Fort Wayne’s Community Research Institute says that the job market continues to be tight. “Employers are going to have to make their jobs more attractive to available workers,” Blakeman says.

“Now that we aren’t seeing the pandemic-related fluctuations that we saw over the past two years, we need to start looking at the monthly numbers with a different perspective, not expect wild changes up or down every 30 days or so,” Blakeman explains.

Most counties in Economic Growth Region 3 (Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley counties) were below the state’s 2.7% unemployment rate. Grant county was above the state’s average rate at 2.9%. LaGrange remained as the county with the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.7%. Allen and Noble counties had the highest unemployment rates in this corner of the state at 2.6%.

Fewer workers are unemployed. Blakeman says that what we are seeing now, we will expect for months to come. There are more jobs than people who can fill them.

“Part of it simply is just demographics. We were projected to have our labor force shrink before the pandemic just by the mere fact of age. The oldest baby boomers turn 76 this year,” she explains. Many are simply aging out of the workforce.