Contact: Laura Byrnes, APR, CPRC
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REGION’S JOBLESS RATE HOLDS AT 4.2 PERCENT
OCALA, Fla. (NOV. 17, 2017) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region remained unchanged in October at 4.2 percent, but was 1.8 percentage points lower than the region’s rate of 6.0 percent a year ago.
According to today’s release of the preliminary jobs report by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the region’s labor force shrank over the month by 3,650 to 198,857, and was virtually unchanged compared to October 2016.
A year ago, the size of the labor force was driven by greater numbers of unemployed and fewer workers. But the region posted strong gains over the year – largely fueled by growth in Ocala/Marion County – in the number of employed, which is 3,726 at 190,537, along with a drop by 3,691 to 8,320 in the number of those out of work.
“There is something to chew on in this report this Thanksgiving,” said Kathleen Woodring, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president.
Woodring noted that the Ocala metropolitan statistical area did serve up “an extra helping” of nonfarm job growth over the year. Nonagricultural employment in October was 104,000, up 2,100 or 2.1 percent compared to October 2016.
Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than the previous month; followed by Marion County at 4.0 percent, also down 0.1 percent. Citrus County’s rate held at 4.9 percent.
The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Florida was 3.6 percent, down 0.1 percent; and the national rate was 3.9 percent, down 0.2 percentage points.
DEO’s preliminary data for the area’s three counties shows that in October, Citrus County’s labor force contracted by 1,106 over the month to 46,822, the number of employed decreased by 1,038 to 44,543 and the number of those without jobs fell by 68 to 2,279. That is 925 fewer unemployed compared to October 2016 when the jobless rate was 6.7 percent.
Levy County’s labor force shrank by 208 to 16,915, the number of employed dropped by 184 to 16,310 and the number of unemployed dropped by 24 to 605. That’s 275 fewer unemployed than a year ago when the jobless rate was 5.2 percent.
Marion County saw its labor force shrink by 2,226 to 135,120, the number of employed decreased by 2,161 to 129,684 and the number of jobless fell by 175 to 5,436. Compared to October 2016 when the jobless rate was 5.9 percent, the labor force has grown by 1,099, the number of employed increased by 3,590 and the number of unemployed dropped by 2,491.
Among the counties, Citrus County continued its hold on the fourth highest unemployment rate; Marion County was 13th highest, tied with Dixie, Holmes, Polk and DeSoto counties; and Levy County tied with seven other counties for the 26th highest rate.
The Homosassa Springs metropolitan statistical area (Citrus County) maintained its ranking as the highest unemployment rate among Florida’s metros while the Ocala MSA continued to hold the sixth highest rate.
In the Ocala MSA, industries gaining jobs over the year were education and health services (+800 jobs); mining, logging and construction (+400 jobs); manufacturing (+300 jobs); trade, transportation and utilities (+200 jobs); professional and business services (+200 jobs); other services (+200 jobs); and government (+100 jobs).
Industries that grew faster in the metro area than statewide, were “other services” (+6.5 percent), education and health services (+4.3 percent), and manufacturing (+3.8 percent).
The information industry lost 100 jobs over the year, and financial activities and leisure and hospitality industries were unchanged.
Nonfarm employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 33,000, a decrease of 400 jobs over the year.
The November employment report will be released on Friday, Dec. 22.
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