October Unemployment Increases November 21, 2019 Report The Indiana Department of Workforce Development, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, has released the October 2019 Unemployment Report. According to the data, the unemployment rate for Huntington County residents was 3.4%, up from 2.5% the previous month. The reporting period covers September 11 through October 10, during the time the United Auto Workers (UAW) were on strike against General Motors (GM). The UAW last struck GM in 2007 when similar spikes in the local unemployment rate were recorded. "A lot will be said about the UAW strike and its impact. Regardless of the slight increase or rationale, the data still reflects a strong economy and jobs market in Huntington County," said Mark Wickersham, executive director for the Huntington County Economic Development Corporation. Job posting site Indeed.com listed 197 positions immediately available in Huntington County. No WARN Notices were issued by employers in Huntington County. A WARN Notice is a notification requirement under federal law if a large employer is planning permanent lay-offs or a plant closure. "The data in this report cannot specifically confirm the spike was the result of the strike, especially when we consider the statistical impact of an increase of 163 in the total Labor Force in our County." said Mark Wickersham, executive director of the Huntington County Economic Development Corporation. "The color-coded map (found by clicking the link to the full report at the end of this article) used by the State of Indiana to show the rates and comparable indicators to the State-wide and National rates, clearly highlights the Indiana Counties in which GM and the automotive industry cluster have been historically strong," he said. "Huntington County is proud to be an automotive Community. Many of our friends and neighbors are employed either directly by GM or within a GM supply chain," he said. The reports over the next few months will tell us more about the impact, if any, of the strike. Governmental agencies' methodology for collecting the data for the Unemployment Report includes an undisclosed margin of error and isn't purely based on whether a person is receiving unemployment compensation. There is also a "formula" to estimate how many people are 'working' along with a survey to supplement the information. "It is possible a striking worker may be considered 'not working,' regardless of whether they have filed for unemployment compensation," Wickersham commented. "It's also possible there were disruptions in the supply chain which may have effected the statistics, however, the data does not reflect a major problem at this time," he added. "To make a long story short, the rate, for whatever reason, increased less than 1% from the previous month in Huntington County and is still reflective of a strong economy," Wickersham concluded. Click here to read the full report.