Region’s jobless rate holds at 6.1%

Ocala MSA manufacturing job growth rate leads state

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

OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2016) – At first glance, today’s preliminary holiday jobs report may seem ho ho hum – with the unemployment rate holding steady over the month and up 0.1. percentage point from the previous November.

But it also delivers news worth celebrating.

For the second month in a row, the Ocala metropolitan statistical area had the fastest annual job growth rate in manufacturing compared to all other metro areas in Florida.

Additionally, nonfarm employment for the Ocala MSA, which includes all of Marion County, also hit 101,000 – up 2,100 jobs over the year.

According to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s November jobs report for the three-county region, out of a labor force of 196,669 in there were 12,023 unemployed, or 36 fewer than the previous month, and there were 184,646 workers, a drop of 83 since October. Over the year, however, the labor force grew by 2,821 and the number of those workings increased by 2,498.

Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 5.3 percent, the same as October’s rate; Marion County also held steady with a jobless rate of 6.0 percent; and Citrus County ticked up 0.1 percent point over the month to 6.8 percent.

“There’s good news here” said Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion. “We’re making steady progress. We topped 100,000 for the first time in I can’t remember when, certainly since before the recession. And the fact that we show continued strong growth in manufacturing is a good sign, because manufacturing offers higher wages in any economy and certainly in ours.”

Skinner noted that the report shows a “more dynamic employment picture for Marion County” but noted that none of the data has been seasonally adjusted. “The December and January reports will indicate whether we’re looking at the holiday hiring impact or truly a lift in normal employment.”

According to the preliminary numbers, Marion County’s labor force grew by 340 to 132,473, the number of those with jobs increased by 381 to 124,568 and the number of unemployed fell by 41 to 7,905. In November 2015, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent and there were 260 fewer unemployed while at the same time, there were 2,184 people with jobs and the labor force was smaller by 2,444.

Levy County’s labor force shrank by 152 to 16,714, the number of employed fell by 145 to 15,830, and the number of jobless nudged down by 7 to 884. In November 2015, unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.
Citrus County’s labor force contracted by 307 to 47,482, the number of employed decreased by 319 to 44,248 and those unemployed fell by 12 to 3,234. The unemployment rate is the same as it is 0.1 percentage point higher than in November 2015.

Unemployment rates held steady in 15 of the state’s workforce development regions, dropped slightly in eight and rose in one.

Among Florida’s counties, rates rose in 12, did not change over the month in 31 and dropped in 24.

The Ocala MSA added 500 manufacturing jobs over the year for a growth rate of 6.5 percent and 8,200 jobs. That’s the second consecutive month the Ocala metro led the state with the fastest job growth rate in manufacturing, which has averaged the third fastest since January 2015.

Other industries gaining jobs over there year were education and health services (+1,100 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (+500 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+500 jobs); and government (+200 jobs).

In addition to manufacturing, growth rates for education and health services (+6.2 percent); trade, transportation and utilities (+2.2 percent); and government (+1.4 percent) grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

Professional and business services (-400 jobs); mining, logging and construction (-100 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 November, nonfarm employment for the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,300 – an increase of 0.6 percent and 200 more jobs over the year.

The employment report for December will be released on Jan. 20, 2017.


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. Phone numbers may be reached using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a proud partner of the American Job Center and member of the CareerSource Florida network.

Continue Reading