Area sees growth in labor force and employment, jobless rate unchanged


Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Direct: 352-291-9559 | Mobile: 352-816-1264
[email protected]

OCALA, Fla. (Oct. 21, 2016) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion area for September was 6.1 percent, unchanged from the August adjusted rate and down 0.2 percent compared to a year ago. Out of an expanded labor force of 196,965, there were 11,975 unemployed.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s preliminary employment summary, the number of jobless for all three counties represents an increase of 131 over the month but a drop of 325 from the number out of work in September 2015.

At the same time, the region’s labor force grew by 1,874 since August and the number of employed rose by 1,743 to 184,990.

Kathleen Woodring, executive vice president for CareerSource CLM, said that today’s jobs report shows that the labor force and number of employed is up in all three counties.

“I think that is very good news for our area,” Woodring said. “While we never like to see a net increase in unemployed no matter how small, it’s outweighed by the positive growth in the labor force which is fueled by more employment.”

Woodring also noted that the Ocala metropolitan statistical area continued to post the third fastest manufacturing job growth rate among all Florida’s metros.

“This is the 16th consecutive month the Ocala MSA has ranked in the Top 5 in manufacturing,” she said. “Clearly manufacturing is thriving in our area and providing good opportunities for employment.”

Woodring added that there was also strong job growth in September in education and health services, which posted the fourth fastest job growth rate in the state.

DEO’s September report shows that Levy County continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 5.2 percent, unchanged over the month; followed again by Marion County at 5.9 percent, up 0.1 percentage point; with Citrus County posting 6.7 percent, down 0.1 percentage point. Florida’s not-seasonally-adjusted rate for September was 5.0 percent, up 0.1 percentage point and the national rate was 4.8 percent, down 0.2 percent.

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

Citrus County’s labor force grew by 354 to 47,765, the number of employed increased by 367 to 44,548 and those unemployed fell by 13 to 3,217. Compared to September 2015, when the jobless rate was 7.0 percent, there are 109 fewer unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force expanded by 365 to 16,885, the number of employed rose by 350 to 16,008, and the number of jobless nudged up by 15 to 877. In September 2015, there were 899 unemployed and the rate was 5.4 percent.
Marion County’s labor force grew by 1,155 to 132,315, the number of those with jobs increased by 1,026 and the number of unemployed increased by 129 to 7,881. A year ago, when the unemployment rate was 6.1 percent, there were 194 more people out of work.
Among Florida’s metropolitan statistical areas, Homosassa Springs, which covers all of Citrus County, dropped from the second highest unemployment rate to third, behind The Villages and Sebring MSAs which had rates of 6.9 percent. The Ocala metro area held the fifth highest rate for the third consecutive month.

In terms of ranking by county, Citrus County’s fell from fifth to the sixth highest jobless rate, Marion County was 12th and Levy County was 29th.

The Ocala metro’s nonagricultural employment in September was 99,200 – an increase of  1,500 jobs over the year.

The Ocala MSA’s job growth rate in manufacturing was 5.2 percent – the third fastest in Florida with 400 new jobs over the year. The job growth rate in education and health services at 5.1 percent, (+900 new jobs), which was the fourth fastest growth rate for the industry sector among the state’s metro areas. Both industries grew faster than statewide over the year.

Other industries gaining jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality, at 4.3 percent (+500 new jobs), and government which grew by 1.4 percent (+200 new jobs).

Mining, logging and construction lost 200 jobs over the year as did professional and business services. Information lost 100 jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities, along with financial activities and other services were unchanged over the year.

In September, nonfarm employment for the Homosassa Springs MSA was 32,900 – an increase of 0.9 percent and 300 more jobs over the year.

The employment report for October will be released on November 18.


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 Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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