Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
[email protected]



OCALA, Fla. (June 16, 2017) – The unemployment rate for the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.9 percent in May, unchanged over the month and 0.7 percentage point lower than the same time last year.

Out of a labor force of 200,642, there were 9,818 unemployed, a slight increase of 56 since April and 1,171 fewer than May 2016. While the number of employed remained virtually unchanged in the region – just two fewer at 190,824 – that represents 4,829 more employed than one year ago when the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.

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 4.3 percent, followed by Marion County at 4.7 percent and Citrus County at 5.6. Florida’s unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 4 percent and the nation’s held at 4.1 percent.

For the fifth consecutive month, the Ocala metropolitan statistical area (MSA) continued to hold the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metros in Florida in professional and business services, at 9.7 percent.

Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer for CareerSource CLM, said that historically the region begins to see unemployment rise in May due to seasonal factors, peaking in mid-summer and snapping back by September or October.

“The fact that we’ve basically held steady in May when we’ve typically seen unemployment increase could very well be another encouraging sign for our local economy,” Skinner said. “And again, it’s instructive to see just how far we’ve come.”

Comparing last month to May 2012, the jobless rate has been cut in half, down from 10.3 percent, and the number of unemployed has dropped 52 percent, down from 20,555.

DEO’s preliminary data for the area’s three counties shows that in May Citrus County’s labor force grew over the month by 265 to 47,924, the number of employed increased by 209 to 45,222, and the number of those without jobs rose by 56 to 2,702. That is 113 more employed and 325 fewer unemployed since May 2016 when the jobless rate was 6.3 percent.

Levy County’s labor force remained virtually unchanged, falling by just six to 16,860, the number of employed decreased by 14 to 16,137 and the number of unemployed rose by eight to 723. That’s 410 more employed and 51 fewer unemployed than a year ago when the jobless rate was 4.7 percent.

Marion County’s labor force decreased by 205 to 135,858, the number of employed slipped by 197 to 129,465 and the number of jobless inched up by eight to 6,393. That’s an increase of 4,306 employed and a drop of 795 unemployed compared to May 2016 when the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.

Among the counties, Citrus County continued to hold the third highest rate behind Sumter County at 5.9 percent and Hendry County at 6.6 percent; Marion County held at 11th; and Levy County was 21st.

The Villages MSA continued to post the highest rate among the states metros at 5.9 percent, Homosassa Springs (Citrus County) continued to hold the second highest and Ocala held at fifth.

The Ocala metro posted 103,300 nonfarm jobs in May, an increase of 2,700 new jobs over the year for an growth rate of 2.7 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 9.7 percent job growth rate); mining, logging and construction (+600 for a 8.7 percent growth rate); education and health services (+500/2.7 percent increase); and trade, transportation and utilities (+600 jobs for an increase of 2.6 percent).

Manufacturing also gained 200 jobs over the year and government added 100 jobs.

Information and financial activities each lost 100 jobs over the year. Leisure and hospitality and “other services” industries were unchanged.

The Homosassa Springs MSA had 33,500 nonfarm jobs in May, the same as the previous two months but a decrease of 100 (-0.3 percent) over the year.

The June employment report will be released on Friday, July 21.


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 may be reached using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. For accommodations, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or email [email protected]. A proud partner of the American Jobs Center network and member of CareerSource Florida.

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