Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
352-291-5999 | 352-816-1264
OCALA, Fla. (March 22, 2019) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.4 percent in February, 0.6 percentage point lower than January’s rate and 0.4 percentage point lower than the region’s year ago rate.
According to the preliminary employment summary released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, there were 8,964 unemployed in the region, 1,130 fewer than the previous month and 609 less than in February 2018.
In addition to the drop in the jobless rate, along with fewer unemployed, the region’s labor force expanded by 870 over the month to 201,928, an increase of 2,146 compared to a year ago when the jobless rate was 4.8 percent. Also, there were 192,964 employed in February, an increase of 2,000 over the month and 2,755 more than February 2018.
Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO, said that employment grew faster than the labor force, resulting in reductions of the number and percentage of those unemployed.
The report, he said, shows “positive employment growth over last month and, looking over the past year, a more stable indicator, offers a positive yearly movement.”
Skinner noted, however, that while the expanding labor force is “favorable” and growth remains positive, it is “still insufficient to meet all the needs of employers, resulting in employer concerns about the “tightness” of the labor market.”
Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 4.0, down 0.5 percentage point over the month, but the same rate as February 2018. Marion County’s rate was 4.2 percent, a drop of 0.8 percentage point over the month and down 0.4 percentage point percent over the year. Citrus County’s rate dropped 0.6 percentage point to 5.3 percent, down from 5.6 percent in February 2018.
Florida’s not seasonally adjusted rate – a rate that matches how the region’s numbers are measured – was 3.4 percent in February, down 0.5 percentage point over the month and 0.4 percentage point less than February 2018. The state’s seasonally adjusted rate was 3.5 percent, down 0.1 percentage point over the month and 0.4 percentage point less than a year ago.
Here’s how each county compares to the January 2019 employment numbers:
Citrus County’s labor force grew by 411 to 48,020, the number of employed increased by 711 to 45,497 and the number of unemployed fell by 300 to 2,523. Over the year, the labor force has grown by 386, the number of employed rose by 529 and the unemployed dropped by 143.
Levy County’s labor force increased by 119 to 17,141, the number of those with jobs increased by 195 to 16,450 and the number of jobless fell by 76 to 691. Compared to February 2018, the labor force expanded by 140, the number of employed rose by 91 and the number of jobless has fallen by 10.
Marion County’s labor force expanded by 340 to 136,767, the number of those with jobs rose by 1,094 to 131,017 and the number of unemployed decreased by 754 to 5,750. Over the year, the labor force has grown by 1,659, the number of employed has increased by 2,135 and the number of unemployed has dropped by 476.
Among Florida’s 67 counties, Citrus County held the second highest unemployment rate behind Gulf County, Marion County held at 14th highest and Levy County tied with Dixie, Flagler and Liberty counties with the 18tht highest rate.
The Homosassa Springs metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Citrus County, posted the highest unemployment rate among Florida’s 24 metros and the Ocala MSA continued to hold the fifth highest rate.
Nonfarm employment for the Ocala MSA was 106,400, an increase 2,300 jobs (+2.2 percent) over the year.
Industries that grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year were: mining, logging and construction, with 600 new jobs (+7.9 percent job growth); professional and business services, 500 new jobs (+5.4 percent); manufacturing, 400 new jobs (+4.8 percent; and government, with 200 new jobs (+1.3 percent).
Other industries gaining jobs over the year were education and health services, which added 400 new jobs (+2.1 percent); trade, transportation and utilities, 200 new jobs (+0.8 percent); and leisure and hospitality with100 new jobs (+0.8 percent).
Financial activities and other services were unchanged and information lost 100 jobs over the year.
In February 2019, nonagricultural employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,900 an increase of 600 jobs over the year for a 1.8 percent growth rate.
The region’s preliminary job numbers for March will be released on Friday, April 19.
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