Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
352-291-5999 | 352-816-1264
OCALA, Florida (Sept. 21, 2018) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.7 percent in August, down 0.2 percentage point over the month and half a percent lower than the same time last year.
The labor force was 200,461, an increase of 1,819 over the year. The number of those with jobs was 191,065, up 2,835 compared to August 2017, and there were 9,396 unemployed, 1,016 fewer than the same time last year.
According to today’s release of the August employment summary by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 4.1 percent, down 0.2 percentage point, followed by Marion County at 4.5 percent, down 0.2 percent, and Citrus County at 5.3 percent, a drop of 0.3 percent. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – is 3.8 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point over the month and down from 4.3 percent a year ago.
Nonfarm employment in the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 104,800 in August, an increase of 3,100 jobs over the year for a job growth rate of 3.0 percent.
The Homosassa Springs MSA’s nonfarm employment was 33,500, an increase of 1,000 new jobs in nonfarm employment over the month for a 3.1-percent job growth rate.
For the sixth consecutive month, the Ocala MSA had the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all other metro areas in the state in education and health services, at 5.9 percent. The Ocala MSA continued to post the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to other metros in manufacturing, at 7.2 percent.
Over the year, the Homosassa Springs metro continued to post the fastest job growth rate compared to all metros in government at 4.7 percent.
CareerSource CLM’s CEO Rusty Skinner said that in looking at the numbers, “what’s important to look at is the growth experienced over the year.”
“We should not stress about short-term variations in the seasonally unadjusted numbers,” he said. “To gauge how well the economy is doing, we need to look at the picture from last year to this.”
Marion County’s labor force shrank by 1,427 over the month to 135,541, the number of those with jobs decreased by 1,026 to 129,437, and the number of unemployed fell by 401 to 6,104. Compared to August 2017, when the unemployment rate was 5.1 percent, the labor force has expanded by 1,871, fueled by an increase of 2,577 in the number of employed and a drop of 706 in the number of jobless.
Citrus County labor force grew by 375 to 48,065, the number of employed rose by 493 to 45,457, while the number of unemployed fell by 118 to 2,608. Compared to August 2017, when the jobless rate was 5.9 percent, that’s an increase of 158 with jobs and a decrease of 238 unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force remained virtually unchanged, slipping by 18 to 16,855, the number of those with jobs rose by 17 to 16,171 and the number of unemployed decreased by 35 to 684. That’s an over-the-year increase of 100 in the number of employed and drop of 72 in the number of jobless compared to when the unemployment rate was 4.5 percent.
According to the employment data for August, unemployment rates fell in 64 counties and remained the same in three.
Citrus County’s unemployment rate tied with Highlands County for the fourth highest rate among Florida’s counties, Marion County moved up two spots to reclaim the 12th highest rate and Levy County tied with six other counties with the 22nd highest rate.
Among the metro areas, the Homosassa Springs/Citrus County MSA had the second highest rate behind The Village’s 5.5 percent and the Ocala MSA continued to hold the fifth highest rate.
The Ocala MSA’s nonfarm employment of 104,800 reflected an increase of 1,000 jobs over the month and 3,100 compared to August 2017.
In addition to education and health services (1,100 new jobs for a 5.9 percent growth rate) and manufacturing (600 new jobs for a 7.2 percent growth rate), industries that grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide over the year were leisure and hospitality (700 new jobs, +5.6 percent growth rate); professional and business services (400 jobs, +4.4 percent); trade, transportation and utilities (400 jobs, +1.7 percent); and government (100 jobs, +0.7 percent).
Industries losing jobs over the year were mining, logging and construction (-100); and financial activities (-100 jobs).
Information and other services were unchanged over the year.
In addition to the 3.1 percent over-the-month job growth rate for the Homosassa Springs MSA, the metro area added 200 jobs compared to August 2017 for an over-the-year rate increase of0.6 percent.
Nonfarm payroll employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 32,400, down 1,400 jobs over the month but an increase of 200 jobs (+0.6 percent) compared to July 2017.
In July, the Homosassa Springs MSA posted the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all other Florida metros in government at 3.1 percent. In August, the metro’s 4.7 percent in government was the state’s fastest rate among metros.
The region’s employment summary for September will be released on Friday, Oct. 19.
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