Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
352-291-5999 | 352-816-1264
OCALA, Florida (May 18, 2018) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.2 percent in April, down 0.4 percentage point over the month and 0.6 percent lower than the same time last year.
Over the year, the region’s labor force has grown by 894 to 200,287, employment has increased by 2,223 to 191,952 and the number of unemployed has decreased by 1,329 to 8,335.
According to today’s release of the April employment summary by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, preliminary unemployment rates were 4.7 percent for Citrus County, down 0.5 percentage points over the month; 3.5 percent for Levy County, a drop of 0.4 percent; and 4.1 percent for Marion County, also down 0.4 percent over the month. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 3.4 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percent.
Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said the April report “shows continued growth in the key factors of labor force, employment and the resulting drop in unemployment. With an expanding labor force and expanding employment we are finally seeing a positive turn out of the recession.”
Skinner said that one result of that upturn is that area businesses are finding fewer applicants in a tighter labor market.
“As with any single report, what we look for is a trending factor over several months,” he said. “The ability of the market to absorb our May/June graduates will give us a better ability to judge our long term prospects.”
Nonfarm employment in the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 104,300, an increase of 600 jobs over the month and 1,800 more than April 2017, for a growth rate of 1.8 percent over the year.
For the second month in a row, the Ocala MSA posted the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metro areas in the state in education and health services at 7.1 percent.
In April, there were 19,700 jobs in education and health services, an increase of 300 jobs over the month and 1,300 more than a year ago.
Also, for the fourth consecutive month, the Ocala metro area had the second fastest annual job growth rate among Florida metros at 8.9 percent. The 8,600 employed in manufacturing represents 700 more jobs than in April 2017.
Both industries sectors, along with government which added 200 jobs (+1.3 percent), grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.
Nonfarm payroll employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,700, the same as it was in April 2017.
The Homosassa Springs MSA also had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all Florida metro areas in government at 2.2 percent.
Here’s how the employment numbers break down for each county:
- Citrus County’s labor force contracted by 333 to 48,155, employment decreased by 63 to 45,888 while the number of jobless fell by 270 to 2,267. That’s an increase of 218 employed and 355 fewer unemployed compared to April 2017 when the unemployment rate was 5.4 percent.
- Levy County’s labor force grew by 77 over the month to 17,152, the number of those with jobs increased by 149 to 16,553 and the number of unemployed dropped by 72 to 599. That’s an increase of 127 employed and decrease of 105 unemployed over the year when the jobless rate was 4.1 percent.
- Marion County’s labor force remained virtually unchanged, shrinking by three to 134,980, the number of those with jobs increased by 538 to 129,511, and the number of unemployed fell by 541 to 5469. That’s an increase of 1,878 employed and decrease of 869 unemployed compared to April 2017 when the jobless rate was 4.7percent.
Over the month, unemployment rates dropped in all 67 counties.
Citrus County’s unemployment tied with Hendry County for the second highest unemployment rate among the state’s counties, Marion County tied with St. Lucie and Hamilton counties for the 10th highest and Levy County dropped to 27th, tied with Columbia, Jefferson, Volusia and Washington counties.
Among the metro areas, Homosassa Springs, which includes all of Citrus County, continued to hold the second highest unemployment rate behind The Villages and Ocala/Marion County remained fifth highest.
In addition to education and health services, manufacturing and government, Ocala MSA industries that gained jobs over the year were professional and business services (+100 new jobs) and leisure and hospitality (+100 jobs).
Those losing jobs over the year were trade, transportation and utilities (-300 jobs); mining, logging and construction (-100 jobs) and financial activities and “other” services which each lost 100 jobs over the year.
The information industry was unchanged.
The region’s employment summary for May will be released on Friday, June 15.
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