Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
O: 352.291.9559 | M: 352.816.1264
OCALA, Fla. (April 21, 2023) – The jobless rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region held at 3.3% in March, unchanged over the month and 0.3 percentage point lower than the region’s year ago rate of 3.6%. At 219,652, the labor force expanded over the year by 6,901.
According to preliminary employment data released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, there were 212,393 employed across the region, an increase of 1,926 over the month and up 7,340 compared to February 2022. There were 7,259 unemployed residents, just 97 more than in February but 439 fewer than the same time last year.
Levy County continued to post the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 3.0%, unchanged over the month and 0.6 percentage point lower than in March 2022. Marion County followed at 3.2%, up 0.1 percentage point compared to February’s rate while dipping 0.3 percent points over the year. Citrus County’s rate held at 3.8%, a drop of 0.3 percentage point compared to the county’s year-ago rate.
Statewide, jobless rates remained unchanged over the month in 44 counties, dropped in 6 and rose slightly in 17. Over the year, rates dropped in all but two counties where they remained the same. Whether over the month or year, when rates rose or dropped it was typically no more than 0.1 or 0.2 percentage point.
Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, said that “our employment report for March shows that our unemployment is low, an overall good sign for our regional economies. Of course, this also creates challenges for area businesses whose product and service demands require additional staff.”
Skinner encouraged employers to review their hiring requirements and ask “can you fill your needs through upskilling some of your current employees? Or have you thought about recruiting your ‘next generation’ workforce by engaging those who will soon be graduating from our local school systems?”
CareerSource CLM can help in both areas, he said.
“In Marion County we are partnering with the Marion County School Board to host a Youth Job Fair next week as well as with the Levy County School District for a Youth Job Fair on May 4,” Skinner said. “We also offer training grants to help cover the cost of upskilling your current workforce.”
In March, nonfarm employment in the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area, which covers all of Marion County, was 119,400, an increase of 4,400 jobs (+3.8%) over the year. The Ocala MSA had the fastest job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in Information (+20%), Government (+8.2%), and Financial Activities (+4.8%). In addition to those, Professional and Business Services (+5.6%), and Mining, Logging and Construction (+3.2%) grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
Education and Health Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; and Leisure and Hospitality also gained jobs over the year. Manufacturing was unchanged and no industries lost jobs.
The Homosassa Springs Metro Area, which includes all Citrus County, posted 35,900 jobs in March, an increase of 1,300 (+3.8%) over the year.
For more details, access DEO’s employment summary for the region here: March 2023 Employment Overview
Looking for a New Career? Here’s Help
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion offers in-person job fairs, hiring events, workshops and facilities for job searches, training grants for eligible candidates, career development and one-on-one consulting – all at no charge to those seeking employment. Call 800-434-JOBS (5627) or visit careersourceclm.com to learn more. Career Centers are open for self-service and in-person assistance weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Searching for New Hires?
CareerSource CLM also provides fee-free services to help build and sustain businesses in today’s challenging marketplace. Services include recruitment, assessment, screening, and referrals of qualified job candidates; logistics, coordination, and promotion of customized hiring events; and grants and incentives for training new hires and existing employees. Call 800-746-9950 to learn more.
CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $8.2 million (revised annually). Unless otherwise stipulated, all statements, news releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other applicable documents are fully funded from federal sources. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities and in Spanish. All voice telephone numbers listed above may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. If you need accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Please make request at least three business days in advance. Stay connected with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.