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

OCALA, Fla. (Nov. 19, 2021) – Something to add to the list of things to be grateful for this Thanksgiving: economic recovery continues its slow-but-steady improvement in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region.

The unemployment rate in October was 4.7%, 0.5 percentage point lower than the region’s rate 5.2% one year ago. The labor force was 213,031, up 10,519 over the year, and there were 10,041 unemployed, a drop of 433 since October 2020.

Heading into the holiday season, if Santa needs help manufacturing gifts, all he needs to do is swing by Ocala.

According to today’s release of preliminary employment numbers by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Marion County, had the fastest annual job growth rate in October compared to all the metro areas in the state in manufacturing at 8.3%, and also tied for the highest annual job growth, adding 800 new positions over the year for a total of 10,400 manufacturing jobs.

In addition to over-the-year gains, the region also showed areas of improvement moving from September into October. Across the three counties, the labor force was up over the month by 1,191 (to 213,031); there were 202,990 employed, an increase of 10,952 since October 2020 and 1,341 more than the previous month; and the number of unemployed dropped by 433 over the year and 150 over the month.

Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 4.1% percent, down 0.2 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed with a rate of 4.6%, a drop of 0.1 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate also fell by 0.1 percentage point to 5.2%. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 4.0%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points over the month and 1.6% lower than October 2020.

Dale French, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president, said that the numbers across all counties show great improvement for current talent pool shortages.

“Not only are we seeing labor force figures rising, but the numbers also indicate that individuals gaining employment are outpacing labor force growth,” French said. “This shows that workers who had previously dropped out of the labor force are also returning to work.”

Here is how each county fared in the October jobs report:

Citrus County’s labor force grew by 440 over the month to 49,128, the number of employed rose by 486 to 46,588, and the number of unemployed dropped slightly by 46 to 2,540. Compared to October 2020 when the unemployment rate was 5.8%, the labor force expanded by 3,178, there were 3,323 more employed and 145 fewer unemployed.

Levy County’s labor force was virtually unchanged, inching up by 12 to 17,854, the number of those with jobs increased by 44 to 17,124, and the number of jobless decreased by 32 to 730. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 4.3%, the labor force grew 979, there were 972 more employed and 7 fewer unemployed.

Marion County’s labor force expanded by 739 to 146,049, the number of those with jobs increased by 811 to 139,278, and the number of unemployed dropped by 72 to 6,771. Compared to the same time last year, when the jobless rate was 5.1%, the labor force rose by 6,362, the number of employed increased by 6,657, and the number of unemployed dropped by 295.

The nonagricultural employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, was 109,400 in October, an increase of 2,100 jobs over the year for a 2.0% annual growth rate.

In the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all of Citrus County, there were 33,400 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 1,500 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 4.7%.

In addition to manufacturing, other industries gaining jobs over the year in the Ocala metro area were trade, transportation, and utilities (+700 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+500 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+500 jobs); other services (+200 jobs); and education and health services (+100 jobs).

The government industry lost 700 jobs over the year while the information, financial activities, and professional and business services industries were unchanged.

Manufacturing, at 8.3%, and mining, logging, and construction at 5.8% grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide over the year.

Among Florida’s 67 counties, Citrus County tied with Sumter County with the sixth highest unemployment rate; Marion County remained the 13th highest; and Levy County  held the 25th highest rate, tying with Charlotte, Columbia, Escambia, Holmes, Leon, Okeechobee, Pasco and Suwannee counties.

The Homosassa Springs MSA posted the second fourth highest jobless rate among the state’s 24 metros, tying with The Villages, and the Ocala MSA ranked fifth.

The region’s preliminary employment summary for November will be released on Friday, Dec. 17.


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 supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and other agencies as part of awards totaling $7.9 million (revised annually). 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, call 800-434-5627, ext. 7878 or e-mail [email protected]. Please make request at least three business days in advance. Stay connected with CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion on FacebookTwitterYouTubeInstagram and LinkedIn

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