Seasonal uptick in jobless rate continues

Ocala MSA posts 3rd best growth rate in heath and education

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

Summer Spike Insight

Tracking summer unemployment trends every 10 years starting in 1995, each county in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion area saw slight upticks beginning in May, peaking in June or July and returning to the pre-spike rate or lower by September or October (the one exception was Levy County in 1995 which didn’t return to its April rate of 4.4 percent until December).

That pattern held true for the region as a whole, as well. In 1995, the April jobless rate was 5.4 percent with 7,724 jobless, peaking in July at 6.2 percent with 8,741 unemployed and dropping to 5.3 percent and 7,488 unemployed by October (even though Levy County’s rate had not yet rebounded).

In 2005, the region’s unemployment rate in April was 3.7 percent with 7,252 out of work, it rose to 4.2 percent in July with 8,098 out of work, and falling to 3.4 percent and 6,875 unemployed by October.

Last year, the jobless rate for all three counties in April was 6.3 percent with 12,790 unemployed, spiking to 7.1 percent in July with 13,815 unemployed, and dropping to 6.0 percent with 11,923 jobless by October.


OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 19, 2016) –  Despite the one-two punch of powerhouse hiring events in July, the seasonal summer spike in unemployment could not be smacked down.

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion area was 6.4 percent in July, up 0.3 percent over the month but down from 7.1 percent a year ago. Out of a labor force of of 194,776, there were 12,377 unemployed.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s preliminary employment report for July show that Levy County continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 5.5 percent, followed again by Marion County at 6.1 percent, with Citrus County posting 7.3 percent. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted rate in July was 5.1 percent, up 0.02 percentage point over the month, and the national rate remained the same at 5.1 percent. The state’s adjusted was 4.7 percent, the same as in June, and the national adjusted rate was 4.9.

Statewide, the unemployment rate increased in 56 counties, remained the same in eight and fell by 0.01 percentage point in three counties.

“We anticipated the increase though there was a chance it might be offset by robust hiring during the month,” said Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, referring to FedEx Ground, Episcopal Children’s Services and Marion County Fire Rescue. “It may just be that the reporting for those jobs hasn’t caught up with the state’s data collection … As with each monthly picture, the August snapshot of the labor force will better define where we are going.”

More than 2,000 job seekers attended CareerSource CLM hiring events for the three companies which were filling 700 positions.

The uptick in the region’s jobless rate was not unexpected. Skinner said that it happens every summer, fueled by the “normal seasonality” of cuts in public education and agriculture employment. College students returning to the area looking for summer jobs before returning to school, can also contribute to the increase.

Skinner added that for the Citrus-Levy-Marion counties region, rates historically rebound by September or October, dropping below pre-spike levels, regardless of the state of the economy.

More important than the seasonal summer spike in the jobless rate, Skinner said, is the over-the-year picture. Compared to July 2015, when the jobless rate was 6.8 percent, there are 881 fewer unemployed and 568 more employed throughout the three counties.

According to DEO preliminary report for July, here’s how each county fared:

  • Citrus County’s labor force shrunk by 930 to 46,535 due to a drop of 1,062 in the number of employed to 43,144 and an increase of 132 to 3,391 in the number of those out of work. Compared to July 2015, when the jobless rate was 8.1 percent, there are 429 fewer unemployed.
  • Levy County’s labor force expanded by 23 to 16,438 while the number of employed fell by 19 to 15,531 and the number on unemployed rose by 42 to 907. Over the year, when the unemployment rate was 6.3 percent, the number of unemployed has fallen by 128.
  • Marion County’s labor force rose by 166 to 131,803, the number of employed dropped by 186 to 123,724 and the number of jobless increased by 352 to 8,079. That’s 881 fewer unemployed, and 568 more employed, than in July 2015 when the jobless rate was 6.6 percent.

Among Florida’s 24 metropolitan statistical areas, Homosassa Springs, which covers all of Citrus County, tied for the second consecutive month with the Sebring MSA for the highest unemployment, The Villages at 7.1 percent had the third highest rate, and the Ocala metro area dropped over the month from fourth to fifth.

In terms of ranking by county, Citrus County tied with Highlands County for the third highest rate, Marion County was 14th and Levy County 24th.

The Ocala metro’s nonagricultural employment in July was 97,800, a drop of 800 jobs over the month but an increase of 1,200 jobs (+1.2 percent) compared to July 2015. The Ocala MSA also posted the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metro areas in education and health services at 5.7 percent, adding 1,000 jobs over the year.

In addition, industries that grew as fast or faster in the metro area than statewide over the year were “other services” at 3.3 percent (+100 jobs), manufacturing at 2.6 percent (+200 jobs), and government at 1.5 percent (+200 jobs).

Other industries gaining jobs over the year were leisure and hospitality (+300 jobs) and  activities (+100 jobs).

Industries that lost jobs over the year were trade, transportation and utilities (-300 jobs); mining, logging and construction (-200); and professional and business services (-200).

The information industry was unchanged.

In July, nonfarm employment for the Homosassa Springs MSA was 31,600, an increase of 100 jobs over the year (+0.3 percent).

The employment report for August will be released on Sept. 16.


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 TwitterGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

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