Media Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
Direct: 352.291.9559 Mobile: 352.816.1264
OCALA, Fla. (December 17, 2021) –The CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion workforce region has much to be celebrating this holiday season. The unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percent in November to 4.3 percent continuing the strong job growth that’s been seen throughout the year.
Across the three-county region, the labor force was 211,825, up 9,653 over the year for an annual growth rate of 4.8 percent. The number of those with jobs slightly fell by 194 over the month to 202,671 and grew by 9,997 compared to November 2020. The number of unemployed decreased by 796 over the month to 9,154.
According to today’s release of preliminary employment numbers by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 3.8 percent, down 0.3 percent over the month; Marion County followed with a rate of 4.2 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 4.9 percent, down 0.2 percentage point.
Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 3.6 percent, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point over the month and 1.4 percent lower than November 2020.
The nonagricultural employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, was 110,900 in November, an increase of 2,100 jobs over the year for a 1.9 percent annual growth rate.
Compared to all the regions across the state, the Ocala MSA continues to have the fastest annual job growth rate in manufacturing at 7.2 percent.
In the Homosassa Springs MSA, which includes all Citrus County, there were 33,400 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 1,100 jobs over the year for an annual growth rate of 3.4 percent.
Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM, said while Marion County continues to show growth in labor force and employment, with related drops in the number of unemployed, Citrus and Levy show a pre-holiday season drop in those numbers as well as the number of unemployed.
“At first glance, this signals the vulnerability of their economy in these times,” Skinner said. “While many speculate that ‘government benefits’ may be resulting in people not returning to work or leaving work, data shows a different picture.
Critical factors regarding failure to return to work or leaving work and not returning include, early retirement, access to and ability to pay for childcare, looking for a better paying job and family lifestyle adjustments for second family earners.”
To that end, there are already career fairs lining up in the new year including a CDL Community Career Fair in partnership with Marion Technical College (MTC). All CDL drivers and graduating drivers can find opportunities with local businesses on January 12, 2022 from 5 – 7 p.m. at MTC.
Here is a breakdown of November’s job numbers for each county:
Citrus County’s labor force in November contracted by 410 to 48,525, the number of employed fell by 264 to 46,158, and the number of unemployed fell by 146 to 2,367. Compared to November 2020 when the unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, the labor force has grown by 2,545 with 2,598 more employed.
Levy County’s labor force grew by 155 over the month to 17,700, the number of those with jobs decreased by 103 to 17,021, and the number of jobless decreased by 52 to 679. Over the year, when the jobless rate was 4.0 percent, those numbers represent 957 more in the labor force and an increase of 954 with jobs.
Marion County’s labor force contracted by 433 to 145,600, the number of those with jobs increased by 173 to 139,492, and the number of unemployed dropped by 606 to 6,108. Compared to the same time last year, when the jobless rate was 4.6 percent, the labor force grew by 6,151 and the number of employed increased by 6,445.
Industries gaining jobs over the year were trade, transportation, and utilities (+800 jobs); leisure and hospitality (+400 jobs); manufacturing (+700 jobs); education and health services (+400 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+400 jobs); and other services (+200 jobs).
The government (-800 jobs) industry lost jobs over the year.
The professional and business, information and financial activities industries were unchanged.
The region’s preliminary employment summary for December will be released on Friday, January 21, 2022.
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 Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.