Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Communications Manager
352-291-5999 | 352-816-1264
[email protected]

OCALA, Florida (June 15, 2018) – The May unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region is 4.2 percent, unchanged over the month and 0.8 percentage point lower percent lower than the same time last year.

Over the year, the region’s labor force has grown by 1,953 to 201,608, employment has increased by 3,451 to 193,199 and the number of unemployed has decreased by 1,498 to 8,409.

According to today’s release of the May employment summary by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, preliminary unemployment rates are 4.8 percent for Citrus County, up 0.1 percentage point over the month; 3.5 percent for Levy County, the same as April’s rate; and 4.0 percent for Marion County, down 0.1 percent over the month. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – is 3.4 percent, unchanged over the month.

Nonfarm employment in the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 104,500, an increase of 300 jobs over the month and 1,900 more than April 2017, for a growth rate of 1.9 percent over the year.

For the third straight month, the Ocala MSA area posted the fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metro areas in the state in education and health services at 6.0 percent. In May, there were 19,500 jobs in education and health services, an increase of 1,100 jobs over the year.

Also the Ocala metro area had the third fastest annual job growth rates in manufacturing among Florida metros at 6.2 percent. The 8,600 manufacturing jobs represents 500 more than in May 2017.

Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said the report points to “continued growth in the labor force and employment” for the region.

Skinner noted that the number of jobless slightly across the region – up 67 over the month – but that “overall it is positive from a regional perspective.”

“The fact that both labor force and employment expanded, are positives that outweigh the fact that the growth could not, at this time, absorb all new entrants into the labor force,” he said.

Here’s how the employment numbers break down for each county:

Citrus County’s labor force grew by 246 to 48,387, employment increased by 192 to 46,064 while the number of jobless rose by 54 to 2,323. That’s an increase of 379 employed and 394 fewer unemployed compared to May 2017 when the unemployment rate was 5.6 percent.
Levy County’s labor force shrank by 17 over the month to 17,126, the number of those with jobs fell by 19 to 16,525 and the number of unemployed increased by 5 to 601. Compared to May 2017 when the jobless rate was 4.3 percent, that’s an increase of 212 employed and decrease of 129 unemployed.
Marion County’s labor force expanded by 1,191 to 136,095, the number of those with jobs increased by 1,180 to 130,610, and the number of unemployed fell by 11 to 5,485. In May 2017, the unemployment rate was 4.8 percent; since then the labor force has grown by 1,885, the number of employed has increased by 2,860 and the number of unemployed has dropped by 975.
Over the month, unemployment rates dropped in 28 counties, rose in 10 and remained unchanged in 29. In each instance when the rate either rose or dropped, it did so by 0.1 percentage point.

Citrus County’s had the third highest unemployment rate among Florida’s counties, dropping from second highest; Marion County tied with Miami-Dade County for the 11th highest rate, moving up a spot; and Levy County moved up from 27th to 24th highest rate, tied with six other 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 the Ocala MSA, both education and health services and manufacturing industry sectors grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year, as did professional and business services (+4.4 percent with 400 new jobs) and government (+1.3 percent with 200 new jobs).

Leisure and hospitality also gained 200 jobs over the year.

Industries losing jobs over there year were mining, logging and construction (-200); and financial activities (-100).

The information and other services industries were unchanged.

In May, nonfarm payroll employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,600, a loss of 100 jobs over the year.

The region’s employment summary for June will be released on Friday, July 20.


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 Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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