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Some favorable local figures

There is at least one good bit of economic news for our county.

Unemployment has decreased from October’s 6.5% to 5.8% in Warren County. That’s nearly a full percentage point higher than it was in November 2019, but a sign of improvement in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More encouraging still is the fact, unlike our neighbor to the north in New York state, the unemployment rate decrease isn’t largely driven by people leaving the workforce. Labor force participation in Warren County has been between 18,800 and 18,900 in November for the past three years, so the November 2020 labor force participation of 18,655 isn’t too far from recent trends.

Don’t be mistaken — a 5.8% unemployment rate still means too many of our friends and neighbors are out of work. The expected March closure of Bluestem’s Irving Distribution Center will only add to that number. But the decrease in unemployment coupled with a relatively stable labor force number means we put more people to work during the holiday season than we had people simply give up and leave the local labor pool.

A stable labor force, particularly during the pandemic, also indicates there is some faith in the local jobs market to provide employment for those who want to work.

We hope the local jobs market rewards that faith in the coming year.

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