Can We Continue Positive Workforce Trends in 2022?

By Clint Knight, Workforce Development Director at the Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development

Over the course of 2021, we saw that American workers in general were very slow to re-enter the workforce. In Ohio, over the last six months, we have been as high as 6.4% and as low as 4% of our workforce receiving unemployment benefits. Richland County is currently back to similar rates as the close of 2019. The New York Times is reporting that in November alone, the Labor Force in the US grew by over 600,000 and the number of people who reported that were looking for jobs grew by 1.1 million. Read more here:

According to Ohio Job and Family Services, Ohioans filed 183 less initial jobless claims in the 2nd week of December (9,119). Also 670 individuals came off of continued unemployment during that same week. Although the number of continued and new claims remain higher than mid November, we are seeing a decline.

We continue to see a rise in job postings here in Richland County, across all industries. The demand continues to be high, and the immediate supply is developing very slowly. We will continue to watch the data in the first quarter of 2022, and we plan to offer updated wage and demand data early in the new year.

Where are the Workers?
Organizations across the region are partnering to gather input from businesses and workers to answer the question: Where are the Workers? As a business owner, your input via a short, 12-minute survey will be vital to our understanding of this question. The survey will be open until 1-10-22. Your input will be aggregated along with input from other businesses in the region.

At the end of the survey, you may opt in to receive results from the regional analysis, designed to help inform go-forward talent attraction and retention practices. Thank you in advance. Results from this survey will provide critical information for businesses and workers across Northeast Ohio.

Please take the survey at: Learn more about this project at