Job picture continues to be strong in June

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has released the June Unemployment Report.  The rate for Huntington County was reported at 4.4%. 

According to the report, the total labor force for Huntington County was 18,662 an increase of 273 compared to January of this year.  The number employed was reported at 17,836 an increase of 683 compared to January of this year.  Also, the unemployment rate for June at 4.4% is down from 6.7% in January with 410 fewer unemployed compared to January.

"The low unemployment rates show an encouraging jobs picture, however, they have highlighted concerns about sustaining workforce talent and numbers in the region," said Mark Wickersham, executive director of Huntington County Economic Development Corporation.  "Regardless, meeting the challenges of sustaining talent and closing the skills gap, is a significantly better problem than the double-digit unemployment rates from the recent past," he added.  "It's also helpful to consider a long-term view of the situation," he continued. 

Consider the statistical impact of the baby boom generation as they begin to enter retirement.  Looking at a broader period of time, 1969-2015 or basically the impact of the baby boomer generation on workforce numbers over the last 46 years, it’s pretty clear baby boomers had a huge impact on the basic statistics and as that generation begins to retire, they will have the opposite statistical impact on the workforce data. 

For example, the total average annual workforce number for Huntington County in 1969 was 15,023.  The average annual total labor force number in Huntington County over that 46 year period is 18,322.  The total labor force number for June in Huntington County is 18,662.   The lowest number in the total Huntington County labor force was 14,411 in 1971 and the highest was 20,969 in 1998.  Again, today it’s 18,662*

"The historical data does not contradict the recent conclusions that we need a significant effort to create the talent our employers are going to need over the next few years, however, it does provide a more balanced perspective that overall Huntington County continues to be a very good place to live and work," Wickersham concluded.

*Source for historical data – Historical reports from Region 3 A Development Corporation, Stats Indiana, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.