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More people looking for work could mean a payoff for you: unemployment expert

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Northeast Indiana's unemployment numbers ticked up a bit from April to May.

Rachel Blakeman of Purdue Fort Wayne's Community Research Institute says that should show employers that more people are actively looking for work in this hot job market.

"So it's not only going to become a question of are employers offering a competitive package, whether that be wage or benefits, whatever that is, to get those workers in the door and to keep them coming back day after day," she said.

She says in May, more people were looking for work before the state required them to do it, or suspended the supplementary unemployment benefit.

She says that means more people want to work which signals good things for the economy.

"The fact that you have people working, that means that they are spending money in restaurants, they're able to buy new cars. It's a sign of just general economic health. When you have high unemployment rates, that indicates something that there's something amiss in the market," Blakeman said.

It may seem counter-intuitive, but Blakeman says more people looking for work or getting hired could mean good things for you.

"When you have more people working that actually can drive up wages because there's that labor tightness. So we're starting to see that and hopefully as we continue to have more people working that might mean that those jobs get more competitive. Maybe you'll get a pay raise or maybe you'll be able to find new work with a higher pay," she said.

She says unemployment numbers that will be released for June and July should provide a better sense of which trends are really happening in the labor market.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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