Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
352-291-5999 | 352-816-1264
OCALA (Dec. 20, 2019) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.5 percent in November, down 0.1 percentage point over the month and 0.6 percentage point lower than the same time last year.
Over the year, the region’s labor force expanded by 2,586 to 203,683, the number of those with jobs increased by 3,831 to 196,634 and those unemployed fell by 1,245 to 7,049.
According to November’s preliminary jobs report released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 3.0 percent, down 0.2 percentage point over the month; followed by Marion County with a rate of 3.3 percent, a drop of 0.1 percentage point compared to October; and Citrus County’s rate of 4.1 percent was unchanged over the month.
Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – is 2.7 percent, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point over the month and down from 3.3 percent a year ago.
DEO reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted rate of 3.1 percent is an historic low, recorded only twice in 40 years and the first since March 2006.
While over-the-year indicators look strong, the size of the labor force and the number of those working fell slightly across the region.
Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO, cautioned that comparing numbers from month-to-month, which can be impacted by seasonal factors, does not provide as clear a picture of economic recovery as comparing the same month from the previous year.
“Looking at it from a business-cycle perspective is much more accurate,” Skinner said, adding that the data released today is preliminary.
In November, Citrus County’s labor force dipped by 452 over the month to 48,116, the number of employed fell by 412 to 46,150 while the number of unemployed dropped by to 1,966. Compared to November 2018, when the jobless rate was 4.8 percent, the labor force has expanded by 253, there are 604 more employed and a decrease of 351 who are unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force expanded by fell by 199 to 17,100, the number of those with jobs decreased by 175 to 16,579, and the number of unemployed dropped by 24 to 521. That’s an over-the-year increase of 102 in the labor force, 193 more working and drop of 91 unemployed compared to when the rate was 3.6 percent.
Marion County’s labor force contracted by 1,082 to 138,467, the number of those with jobs dropped by 899 to 133,905 and the number of unemployed fell by 78 to 4,562. Compared to November 2018 when the rate was 3.9 percent, the labor force has expended by 2,231, there are 3,034 more employed and 803 fewer unemployed.
Nonfarm employment in November 2019 for the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 108,900, an increase of 2,400 jobs over the year for a growth rate of 2.5 percent.
The Homosassa Springs MSA’s nonfarm employment was 34,400, an increase of 400 new jobs over the year for a job growth rate of 1.2 percent.
The Ocala MSA continued to hold the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to all other metro areas in the state in education and health services at 5.2 percent, adding 1,000 new jobs for a total of 20,100, and “other” services at 3.6 percent with 100 new jobs for a total of 2,900.
Industries that also grew faster in the Ocala metro than statewide over the year were mining, logging and construction, an increase of 500 jobs for a total of 8,600 jobs for (+6.2 percent); manufacturing, 300 new jobs for a total of 9,000 jobs (+3.4 percent); leisure and hospitality, adding 400 jobs for a total of 13,200 (+3.1 percent); and trade, transportation and utilities, an increase of 500 new jobs for a total of 25,500 (+2.0 percent).
Professional and business services also gained jobs over the year, with 100 new jobs for a total of 9,900 jobs (+1.0 percent).
The information and financial activities industries, with 700 and 3,900 jobs respectively, were unchanged over the year while government lost 200 jobs for a total of 15,000 (-1.3 percent).
Citrus County tied with Sumter County for the third highest rate; Marion County tied with Dixie, Flagler, Glades and Madison counties with the 12th highest rate; and Levy County tied with Gilchrist, Liberty, Taylor and Volusia counties with the 24th highest rate.
Among the metro areas, the Homosassa Springs/Citrus County MSA tied with The Villages for the highest rate and the Ocala MSA held with the fourth highest rate.
The region’s employment summary for December will be released on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.
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