Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
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Gains over the year outweigh uptick in November rate
OCALA, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2018) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.8 percent in November – just one-tenth of a percentage point more than the previous month and nearly a point lower than the year ago rate of 4.7 percent.
The labor force was 202,233, contracting by 1,025, the number of those working dipped by 1,144 to 193,539, while the number of unemployed remained virtually unchanged at 7,694, an increase of just 119.
But it is the comparison to November 2017 that demonstrates the continuing strength of the region’s economic recovery, according to Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO.
Skinner noted that over the year, the labor force expanded by 3,855, the number of employed increased by 5,443 and those out of work dropped by 1,589. That more than outweighs slight variations in unemployment compared to the previous month.
Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 3.3 percent, unchanged over the month; Marion County’s rate is of 3.7 percent rose by one-tenth of a percent; and Citrus County’s rate of 4.5 percent increased by 0.02 percent. Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – remains at 3.0 percent, a decrease of 0.8 percentage point over the year.
Here’s how each county fared in the latest report:
- Citrus County’s labor force fell by 361 to 48,140, the number of employed dropped by 403 to 45,991 while the number of unemployed rose slightly by 42 to 2,149. Over the year, when the county’s jobless rate 5.3 percent, the labor force has expanded by 552, the number of employed increased by 920 and the number of unemployed fell by 368.
- Levy County’s labor force contracted by 133 to 17,104, the number of those with jobs decreased by 140 to 16,535, and the number of unemployed remained statistically unchanged, increasing by just 7 to 569. Compared to November 2017, when the unemployment rate was 4.0 percent, the labor force has grown by 154, the number of employed rose by 255 and the number of jobless dropped by 101.
- Marion County’s labor force shrank by 531 over the month to 135,989, the number of those with jobs fell by 601 to 131,013 and the number of unemployed rose by 70 to 4,976. Since November 2017, when the jobless rate was 4.6 percent, the labor force has expanded by 3,149, the number of employed has grown by 4,268 while the number of jobless has dropped by 1,119.
Nonfarm employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area was 106,700, an increase of 1,100 jobs over the month and 4,100 more than a year ago for a 4.0 percent annual job growth gain. Nonagricultural employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA remained unchanged at 34,000, representing an increase of 600 jobs over the year, for a 1.8 percent job growth rate.
Compared to all other metro areas in the state, the following were annual job-growth highlights
- The Ocala MSA had the state’s fastest annual job growth rate in leisure and hospitality at 9.7 percent, a gain of 1,200 new jobs.
- The Ocala MSA continued to hold the second fastest annual job growth rate in education and health services, at 5.3 percent, adding 1,000 new jobs.
- The Homosassa Springs metro area had the fastest rate in state government at 4.3 percent, adding 200 new jobs.In addition to leisure and hospitality and education and health services, other industry sectors that grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide over the year were manufacturing (+6.0 percent for 500 new jobs); professional and business services (+5.5 percent for 500 new jobs); and trade, transportation and utilities, (+2.5 percent for 600 new jobs).Mining, logging and construction also gained 300 jobs over the year for a 4.3 percent growth rate.
The information, financial activities, other services and government industries were unchanged over the year.
Unemployment rates increased over the month in 31 counties, remained unchanged in 28 counties, and fell in 8. Gulf, Bay and Franklin counties held the highest rates in the state at 8.4 percent, 6.1 percent and 5.0 percent respectively; rates that reflect impacts from Hurricane Michael. Prior to the hurricane, the Panhandle counties’ rates averaged 2.85 percent.
Citrus County dropped from third highest to tie with Calhoun County for the sixth highest rate among Florida’s 67 counties; Marion County dropped six spots to tie for 16th with Hamilton and St. Lucie counties; and Levy County dropped eight places and tied for 28th place with Jefferson, Pasco and Taylor counties.
Among the metro areas, Homosassa Springs/Citrus County MSA again tied with The Villages for the highest rate and the Ocala MSA continue to hold the fifth highest rate, tied with Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall metro area.
The region’s employment summary for December will be released on Friday, Jan. 18
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