Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
OCALA, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2021) –The number of unemployed fell over the month in August and employment was up throughout most of the of the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region. The unemployment rate inched down 0.1 percentage point over the month to 5.6 percent, a rate 1.6 percentage points lower than the year ago rate of 7.2 percent.
Across the three-county region, the labor force was 213,713, up 14,186 over the year and 166 more than in July. The number of those with jobs rose by 479 over the month to 201,835, an increase of 16,645 compared to August 2020. The number of unemployed fell by 313 since July to 11,878, which is a drop of 2,459 compared to the number out of work a year ago.
According to today’s release of preliminary employment numbers by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 5.0 percent, down 0.2 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed with a rate of 5.4 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 6.3 percent, down 0.2 percentage point. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 5.0 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point over the month and 3.2 percent lower than August 2020.
The nonagricultural employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, was 108,300 in July, an increase of 4,000 jobs over the year for a 3.8 percent annual growth rate.
The Ocala MSA had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in manufacturing at 8.5 percent.
In the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all of Citrus County, there were 32,700 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 800 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 2.5 percent.
Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said, “The good news in today’s release is the long-term growth and rebounding of the labor market in our three-county area.”
“Over the past year, each county has seen significant growth in their labor force and employment, while also seeing the decline in the number of unemployed citizens,” he said.
Skinner said that August is typically a month when the jobs report reflects fluctuations across all three counties.
“Marion County, while remaining strong, showed dips in labor force and employed, while also showing reductions in the number of unemployed,” he said. “These variations are generally seen as a seasonal downward trend.”
Skinner said that Citrus and Levy counties, on the other hand, bucked the historic summer trend by showing expansions in labor force and employment coupled with a slight drop in the number of unemployed.
Here is a breakdown of the August’s jobs numbers for each county:
Citrus County’s labor force expanded over the month by 496 to 49,146, the number of employed rose by 568 to 46,044, and the number of unemployed fell by 72 to 3,102. Compared to August 2020 when the unemployment rate was 8.0 percent, the labor force grew by 2,849, there were 3,439 more employed and 580 fewer unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force grew by 206 to 17,814, the number of those with jobs increased by 226 to 16,923, and the number of jobless decreased by 20 to 891. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 5.7 percent, those numbers represent 1,323 more in the labor force, an increase of 1,367 with jobs, and a decrease of 44 unemployed.
Marion County’s labor force contracted by 536 to 146,753, the number of those with jobs decreased by 315 to 138,868, and the number of unemployed dropped by 221 to 7,885. Compared to the same time last year, when the jobless rate was 7.1 percent, the labor force grew by 10,014, the number of employed increased by 11,849 and the number of unemployed dropped by 1,835.
Among Florida’s 67 counties, Citrus County’s unemployment rate was the sixth highest; Marion County ranked 13th highest; and Levy County tied for 19th with Charlotte, Lake, Liberty, and Orange counties.
The Homosassa Springs MSA held the fourth highest among the state’s 24 metros and the Ocala MSA was sixth.
In the Ocala MSA, manufacturing (+800 new jobs for an 8.5 percent annual growth rate); mining, logging, and construction (+300 jobs for an increase of 3.5 percent); trade, transportation, and utilities (+800 jobs for a growth rate increase of 3.1 percent); and government (+100 jobs, up 0.7 percent) grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
Other industries gaining jobs over the year were in the Ocala MSA were leisure and hospitality, which added 1,300 new jobs; education and health services, up 400 jobs; other services, which added 200 jobs; and professional and business services, which added 100 jobs.
The information and financial activities industries were unchanged over the month, while no industry sectors reported job losses
The region’s preliminary employment summary for September will be released on Friday, October 15.
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $7.9 million (revised annually). Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers may be reached using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or mail [email protected]. CareerSource CLM is a proud partner of the American Job Center network and member of CareerSource Florida.