Media Contact:
Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Director of Communications
O: 352.291.9559 | M: 352.816.1264

[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (March 11, 2024) – The jobless rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.4% in January 2024, half a percent higher than the previous month and 0.7 percentage point greater than the area’s year ago rate. The labor force was 219,806, up 4,070 for a 1.9% increase over the year.

According to preliminary employment data released today by FloridaCommerce, formerly the Department of Economic Opportunity, there were 210,158 employed residents, a drop of 243 compared to December 2023 but 2,403 more than in January 2023; and there were 9,648 unemployed in the region, an increase of 1,137 compared to December 2023 and 1,667 more over the year.Today’s report reflects annual benchmarking conducted by FloridaCommerce and the US Department of Labor to realign employment estimates as well as revise historical data. Benchmark revisions are a standard part of the estimation process.

Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, noted that because January statistics are a “recalibration” of data associated with labor statistics, it is “most accurate” to benchmark the start of the calendar year, comparing year-over-year numbers.

“When approached in this manner, we see a continued growth in our labor force,” he said. “The continued expansion of job seekers is a positive sign in a labor market that is light on job seekers.”

Skinner pointed out that CareerSource CLM joins with community and education partners to hold job fairs, most recently for businesses hiring CDL drivers, youth/young adults, and mature workers. He added that more job fairs in the pipeline and that CareerSource CLM also holds myriad hiring events for employers throughout the region and will once again offer broadband network training for interested residents in Levy County.

Levy County posted the lowest jobless rate in January at 4.0%, up 0.6 percentage point since the previous month; Marion County’s rate was 4.2%, an increase over the month of 0.50 percentage point; and the unemployment rate in Citrus County was 5.2%, which rose 0.6 percentage point compared to December 2023. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted rate, which matches how local rates are determined, was 3.1%, an increase of 0.2 percentage point over the month.

Citrus County had 47,126 workers in January, down 291 over the month and a drop of 152 compared to the county’s year ago numbers; there were 2,595 unemployed, 309 more than the previous month and 443 more than January 2023.

Levy County had 16,889 employed, an increase of 236 compared to the previous month and 357 more than in January 2023; there were 698 jobless which was 71 more than in December and an increase of 115 over the year.

Marion County had 146,143 employed, a decrease of 188 compared to December but 2,198 more than a year ago. The county had 6,355 unemployed, up 757 over the month and 1,109 more than in January 2023.

In January 2024, nonfarm employment in the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area, which covers all of Marion County, was 120,900, an increase of 1,800 jobs for a growth rate of  1.5% over the year.

The Ocala MSA had the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in the state in the Information industry at 14.3% and tied for the second highest annual job growth in Information, adding 100 new jobs.

In addition to the Information industry, other industries which grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year were Other Services (+5.6%), Education and Health Services (+5.1%), and Government (3.2%).

In addition to Information, industries gaining jobs over the year were Education and Health Services, which added 1,000 new jobs; Government (+500 jobs); Leisure and Hospitality (+400 jobs); Mining, Logging, and Construction (+300 jobs); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+300 jobs); and Other Services (+200 jobs).

Industries losing jobs were Manufacturing (-700), Professional and Business Services  (-200), and Financial Activities (-100 jobs)

The Financial Activities, Information, Leisure and Hospitality, and Other Services were unchanged over the year.

Nonagricultural jobs in the Homosassa Springs MSA, which encompasses all Citrus County, was 35,400, a decrease of 100 jobs or -0.3% over the year.

Citrus County posted the highest unemployment rate among the state’s 67 counties; Marion County tied with Glades, Hardee, and Putnam counties with the ninth highest; and Levy County ranked 14th, tying with DeSoto, Gadsden, Jackson and Polk counties.

Among the metro areas, Homosassa Springs held the highest jobless rate, followed by The Villages at 5.0% and the Ocala MSA was fourth.

The February jobs report will be available on March 22.

For more details about January’s jobs numbers, access the FloridaCommerce employment summary for the CSCLM area here: January 2024 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 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 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 FacebookJobs352, YouTube and LinkedIn

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