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Nearly half of Marion County workers commute to nearby counties 
Good news: fewer workers under 55 leave county for employment

OCALA, Florida (April 2, 2018) – Nearly half of the workers living in Marion County leave the county for employment, with most commuting to Orange, Lake and Alachua counties, according to a new labor shed analysis of workforce and demographic characteristics commissioned by CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

At the same time, the daily outflow of workers under age 55 is slowing, with slight declines both as a percentage and in total numbers, while there was little change in the number of workers 55 and older commuting for employment.

The analysis highlights Marion County commuting patterns showing where workers work and where workers live. It was prepared by the Florida Department of Economic Development’s Bureau of Labor Market Statistics using 2015 annual Census data – the latest available. The labor shed report is designed to help economic developers and existing or prospective businesses determine where a labor market draws its commuting workers.

The report’s detailed examination of commuting patterns for Marion County found that there were 107,076 workers living in Marion County and 91,588 workers employed in Marion County. Of those workers who lived in the county, 48,888 or 45.7 percent were employed outside Marion County.

Of the 91,588 people employed in Marion County, 58,188 (63.5 percent) live and work here, while 33,400 (36.5 percent) commute into the county for work.

According to the report, Marion County had a net job flow loss of 15,488 workers – in other words, more workers leave Marion County for work than commute into the county. Marion County had the  47th highest outflow rate among Florida’s 67 counties.

Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said that Marion County’s labor shed analysis “reinforces the need to be competitive, in terms of compensation, with similar businesses within a one hour commute.”

Top destinations for Marion County workers employed outside the county are Orange County (5,665 workers), Lake County (5,536 workers) and Alachua County (4,979 workers). Citrus County ranked sixth (2,107 workers) and Levy County was 17th (672 workers).

Among workers leaving the county for jobs, 24 percent (11,750) are 29 or younger, 51.1 percent (24,980) are age 30 to 54, and 24.9 percent (12,158) are 55 or older.

“One of our goals should focus on working with high school graduates and first time job seekers to retain their skills within our communities,” Skinner said. “This includes working with our school districts and the College of Central Florida to develop short term, certificate and degree programs (both Associate and Bachelor) that focus on the skills sets that business needs.”

Skinner noted that CareerSource CLM, the public school districts and CF all have active intern and work experience programs that help first-time workers transition into the workforce.

Among the 33,400 Marion County workers living outside the county, the top origin counties are Citrus County (3,687 workers), Lake County (2,644 workers) and Orange County (2,193 workers).

Of those workers commuting into Marion County, 25.1 percent are 29 or younger, 51.3 percent (17,119) are 30 to 54, and 23.7 percent (7,903) are 55 or older.

Other key findings:

  • In terms of average wages, 21,412 (43.8 percent) of those leaving the county earn $15,012-$39,996 and 28.9 percent (14,153) earn $39,997 or more; 43.3 percent of those commuting into Marion County (14,462) earn $15,012-$39,996 and 28.4 percent (9,473) earn $39,997 or more.
  • Of those working outside Marion County, 12.9 percent (6,330) are employed in “goods producing” industries such as mining, construction and manufacturing; 28.9 percent (14,112) in “trades, transportation and utilities”; and 58.2 percent (28,446) in “other services” which covers a wide array of services including dry cleaning and laundry, administering religious activities, personal and pet care, equipment and machinery repair and dating services. Among workers commuting into Marion County, 14.3 percent (4,780) are employed in “goods producing” industries; 35 percent (11,698) in “trade, transportation and utilities”; and 50.7 percent (16,922) in “other services.”
  • Workers employed in Marion County are clustered in the healthcare and social assistance industries (17.6 percent) along with retail trade (16 percent). Workers living in Marion County are concentrated in healthcare and social assistance (17 percent) and retail trade (14.7 percent).

For a copy of the Marion County labor shed report, visit the business resource links page or news releases page at

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is the local, business-led nonprofit that brings together citizens, businesses, educational providers, and economic development and public partners to develop programs supporting high-quality education/training and employment services to meet regional workforce needs.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Labor Market Statistics, produces, analyzes and distributes labor statistics to improve economic decision making. Data produced is part of a federal/state cooperative statistical program with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Employment and Training Administration.


CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is a member of CareerSource Florida and a proud partner of the American Job Center network. 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 listed above may be reached by persons using TTY/TDD equipment via the Florida Relay Service at 711. If you need accommodations, please call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Please make request at least three business days in advance. Like us on Facebook follow us on TwitterYouTubeGoogle+ and LinkedIn.

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