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Ocala metro leads state in fastest businesses and professional job growth
OCALA, Fla. (July 21, 2017) – The unemployment rate for the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion was 5.2 percent in June, inching up 0.3 percent point over the month but a full 1.0 percent lower than the same time last year. Out of a labor force of 200,522, there were 10,487 unemployed.
According to today’s employment summary by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Levy County continued to post the lowest jobless rate in the region at 4.6 percent, followed by Marion County at 5.0 percent – both up 0.3 percentage point – and Citrus County increased 0.4 percentage point to 6.0 percent. The area’s counties reflect the same increases as Florida’s unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, which rose from 4 to 4.3 percent and the nation’s rate which increased from 4.1 to 4.5 percent.
For the sixth consecutive month, the Ocala metropolitan statistical area (MSA) held the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all the metro areas in Florida in professional and business services, at 9.8 percent.
Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer for CareerSource CLM, said that the June report is “very much in line with what we typically see at this time of year.”
Skinner noted that the region begins to see unemployment rise in May or June, spiking in July, due to seasonal factors such as release of school support personnel for the summer as well as college students returning to the area looking for temporary work until they head back to school.
He added that, historically, rates snap back by September or October.
“Look, I know there are those who see a slight uptick in unemployment over the month and conclude the sky is falling,” Skinner said, “but what you really need to focus on is how far we’ve come in the long run.”
The number of unemployed throughout the region has decreased by 1,635 over the year while the number of those with jobs, at 190,035, has increased by 5,308.
Comparing last month to June 2012, the jobless rate has plunged from 11 percent to 5.2 percent and the number of unemployed has been cut in half, from 21,521 to 10,487.
DEO’s preliminary data for the area’s three counties shows that in June, Citrus County’s labor force grew over the month by 155 to 48,153, the number of employed decreased by 20 to 45,153, and the number of those without jobs rose by 175to 2,879. That is 451 more employed and 450 fewer unemployed compared to June 2016 when the jobless rate was 6.9 percent.
Levy County’s labor force fell by 194 to 16,664, the number of employed decreased by 232 to 15,897 and the number of unemployed rose by 38 to 767. That’s 406 more employed and 109 fewer unemployed than a year ago when the jobless rate was 5.4 percent.
Marion County’s labor force increased by 44 to 135,826, the number of employed fell by 395 to 128,985 and the number of jobless rose by 439 to 6,841. That’s an over-the-year increase of 4,451 employed and a drop of 1,076 compared to June 2016 when the unemployment rate was 6.0 percent.
Among the counties, Citrus County continued to hold the third highest, Marion County moved from 11th to 25th and Levy County dropped from 21st to 25th.
The Homosassa Springs metropolitan statistical area (Citrus County) swapped places with The Villages MSA to post to highest unemployment rate among the state’s metros, while the Ocala MSA held at fifth.
The Ocala metro posted 102,100 nonfarm jobs in June, an increase of 2,900 new jobs over the year for a growth rate of 2.9 percent.
Industries gaining jobs over the year, and growing faster in the metro area than statewide over the year, were professional and business services (+900 for a 9.8 percent job growth rate); and mining, logging and construction (+800 for a 3.5 percent growth rate).
Other industries gaining jobs over the year were education and health services (+300/1.7 percent increase), manufacturing (+200/2.5 percent increase) and other services (+100/3.1 percent increase) and government (+100/0.7 percent increase).
Leisure and hospitality lost 200 jobs over the year and information lost 100 jobs. Financial activities was unchanged.
The Homosassa Springs MSA had 33,100 nonfarm jobs in June, an increase of 100 jobs (+0.3 percent) over the year.
The July employment report will be released on Friday, Aug. 18.
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