Region sees strong job growth, slight rise in unemployment

OCALA, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2016) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion area for October was 6.2 percent, up 0.1 percent over the month and year. Out of a labor force of 196,931, there were 12,120 unemployed, or 69 more than last month.

The preliminary employment summary released today by Florida Department of Economic Opportunity shows a mixed bag of economic indicators in all three counties.

What is clear, however, is that the Ocala metropolitan statistical area had the fastest annual job growth rate in manufacturing compared to all other metros.

The Ocala MSA, which includes all of Marion County, added 500 manufacturing jobs over the year for a total of 8,200 jobs (+6.5 percent). The job growth rate for education and health services, which added 1,000 new jobs (+5.6 percent) was the fourth fastest in the state, virtually tying with Deltona MSA’s 5.7 percent – it was the second consecutive month that education and health services landed in the Top 5.

Kathleen Woodring, executive vice president for CareerSource CLM, said that while the unemployment rate bucks the trend of dropping after the seasonal summer spike, she added that the changes in the number of unemployed are scant.

“In contrast, leading the state in manufacturing job growth rate is great news for our area,” Woodring said. “We have averaged the third fastest growth rate in manufacturing since at least January 2015. Coming out as number one confirms what we’ve been saying all along: today’s advanced manufacturing is healthy, diverse and growing.”

DEO’s October report shows that Levy County continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 5.3 percent, up 0.1 percentage point over the month; followed again by Marion County at 6.0 percent, up 0.1 percentage point; with Citrus County posting 6.8 percent, unchanged from September’s rate. Florida’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate for September was 4.9 percent and the national rate was 4.7 percent.

Here’s how the numbers break down for each county:

  • Citrus County’s labor force grew by 21 to 47,821, the number of employed increased by 19 to 44,582 and those unemployed fell by 2 to 3,239. The unemployment rate is the same as it was in October 2015 when there were 13 more out of work.
  • Levy County’s labor force shrank by 19 to 16,871, the number of employed fell by 26 to 15,979, and the number of jobless nudged up by 7 to 892. In October 2015, unemployment rate was 5.2 percent.
  • Marion County’s labor force fell by 250 to 132,239, the number of those with jobs decreased by 313 to 124,250 and the number of unemployed rose by 63 to 7,989. Compared to a year ago, when the unemployment rate was also 6.0 percent, there were 180 fewer people out of work and 972 more with jobs.

Among Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas, Homosassa Springs, which covers all of Citrus County, held the third highest unemployment rate behind the Sebring MSA with 6.9 percent and The Villages at 7.1 percent. The Ocala metro area held the fifth highest rate for the fourth consecutive month.

In terms of ranking by county, Citrus County resumed its ranking as the fifth highest jobless rate, Marion County was 10th and Levy County was 24th.

The Ocala metro’s nonagricultural employment in October was 99,600 – an increase of 200 jobs over the month and 1,100 jobs over the year.

In addition to the Ocala MSA’s job growth rate in manufacturing at 6.5 percent – the fastest in Florida with 500 new jobs over the year – and education and health services at 5.6 percent – the fourth fastest job growth rate with 1,000 new jobs, other industries gaining jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality, at 3.4 percent (+400 new jobs), and trade, transportation and utilities at 0.9 percent (+200 new jobs).

Professional and business services (-500 jobs); mining, logging and construction (-200 jobs); and information, other services and government (-100 each) lost jobs over the year.

The financial activities industry sector was unchanged over the year.

In October, nonfarm employment for the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,200 – an increase of 0.3 percent and 100 more jobs over the year.

The employment report for November will be released on December 16.


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of the CareerSource Florida network of workforce services and resources. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is an equal opportunity employer/program. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Like CareerSource CLM on Facebook, follow on TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

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