Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (Jan. 21, 2022) –The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.1% in December 2021, 0.2 percentage point lower than the previous month, and 0.2 percentage point higher than the region’s year ago rate of 3.9%.

Across the three-county region, the labor force was 212,657, up 11,284 over the year for an annual growth rate of 5.6%. The number of those with jobs rebounded to 203,849, an increase of 1,140 over the month and 10,410 more than December 2020. The number of unemployed dropped by 375 over the month to 8,808.

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 3.8%, down 0.1 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed with a rate of 4.0%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 4.7 percent, down 0.2 percentage point.

Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 3.2%, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point over the month and 1.0% lower than December 2020.

The nonagricultural employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, was 111,800 in December, an increase of 3,000 jobs over the year for a 2.8% percent annual growth rate.

Compared to all the regions across the state, the Ocala MSA had the third fastest annual job growth rate in manufacturing at 7.1%.

In the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all Citrus County, there were 33,600 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 1,000 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 3.1%.

Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said the expansion of the labor force, coupled with increase in jobs, “indicates our area’s move out of the COVID slump.”

Skinner added that more job seekers are returning to the career centers, as well.

“This long-term growth in employment and labor force participation shows a positive response to the job opportunities of our area businesses,” he said adding that, while the return to the labor force and employment has not yet matched demand in opportunities, “it represents the steady recovery of our three counties.”

Here is a breakdown of December’s job numbers for each county:

Citrus County’s labor force expanded by 169 to 48,696, the number of employed grew by 225 to 46,383, and the number of unemployed nudged downward by 56 to 2,313. Compared to December 2020 when the unemployment rate was 4.5%, the labor force has grown by 2,714 with 2,468 more employed.

Levy County’s labor force shrank by 32 over the month to 17,677; the number of those with jobs remained virtually unchanged, falling by 7 to 17,013; and the number of jobless decreased by 25 to 664. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 3.5%, those numbers represent 1,007 more in the labor force and an increase of 919 with jobs.

Marion County’s labor force grew by 628 to 146,284 over November, the number of those with jobs increased by 922 to 140,453, and the number of unemployed dropped by 294 to 5,831. Compared to the same time last year, when the jobless rate was 3.8%, the labor force grew by 7,563 and the number of employed increased by 7,023.

In addition to manufacturing, industries that grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide were other services (+11.1%); and mining, logging, and construction (+5.7%).

Manufacturing added 700 new jobs for a total of 10,500 employed in the industry; other services added 300 jobs for a total of 3,000; and mining, logging, and construction added 500 jobs for a total of 9,200.

Other industries gaining jobs over the year were trade, transportation, and utilities (+900 jobs for a total of 28,800); leisure and hospitality (+700 jobs for 12,500); education and health services (+500 jobs totaling 18,700); and professional and business services (+100 jobs for 10,400).

Industries losing jobs over the year were government (-600 jobs for a total of 14,500) and financial activities (-100 totaling 3,700).

The information industry, with 500 jobs, was unchanged over the year.

Unemployment rates dropped in 64 of Florida’s 67 counties, two counties’ rates were unchanged, and the rate increased in one county.

Citrus County tied with Highlands and Sumter counties with the third highest rates, Marion was 13th highest, and Levy County tied with Flagler, Lake, Orange, St. Lucie, and Volusia counties with the 16th highest.

Among the state’s 24 metro areas, the Homosassa Springs MSA tied with Sebring and The Villages with the highest jobless rate; Ocala was fifth highest.

Due to annual benchmarking in February, the region’s preliminary employment summary for January will be released on March 14.


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 $7.9 million (revised annually). 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 FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn

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