The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.5 percent in October, down 0.2 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 3,387 to 205,547, the number of those with jobs increased by 4,385 to 198,255 and those unemployed fell by 998 to 7,292.
According to today’s release of October’s preliminary jobs numbers by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 3.2 percent followed by Marion County with a rate of 3.4 percent – both counties’ rates dropped 0.1 percentage point compared to September -- and Citrus County’s rate fell from 4.3 percent to 4.1 percent.
Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – is 2.9 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point over the month and down from 3.3 percent a year ago.
CareerSource CLM’s CEO Rusty Skinner said “Pre-holiday periods often show fluctuations.The year-to-year numbers show an overall positive movement in the workforce with more people working and both a numerical and percentage drop in unemployment.”
Skinner added that “the short term data from Citrus and Levy counties shows some positive, pre-holiday gains with employment up in both counties and a reduction in unemployment from the previous month. Marion County, while showing a drop in the unemployment rate and number, had slight drops in both labor force and employment.”
Citrus County’s labor force grew by 20 over the month to 48,558, the number of employed rose by 78 to 46,552 while the number of unemployed fell by 98 to 2,006. Compared to October 2018, when the jobless rate was 4.8 percent, the labor force has expanded by 3,578; there are 658 more employed and a decrease of 301 unemployed.
Levy County’s labor force expanded by 32 to 17,300, the number of those with jobs increased by 52 to 16,755, and the number of unemployed decreased by 20 to 545. That’s an over-the-year increase of 160 in the labor force, 230 more working and drop of 70 unemployed compared to when the rate was 3.6 percent.
Marion County’s labor force contracted by 216 to 139,689, the number of those with jobs dropped by 58 to 134,948 and the number of unemployed fell by 158 to 4,741. Compared to October 2018, when the rate was 3.9 percent, the labor force has expended by 2,870, there are 3,497 more employed and 627 fewer unemployed.
Nonfarm employment in October 2019 for the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 108,300, an increase of 2,800 jobs over the year for a growth rate of 2.7 percent.
The Homosassa Springs MSA’s nonfarm employment was 34,300, an increase of 500 new jobs over the year for a job growth rate of 1.5 percent.
The Ocala MSA had the third fastest annual job growth rate compared to all other metro areas in the state in education and health services at 4.7 percent, adding 900 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 leisure and hospitality, adding 700 jobs for a total of 13,300 (+5.6 percent); mining, logging and construction, an increase of 400 jobs for a total of 8,500 jobs for (+4.9 percent); and manufacturing, 400 new jobs for a total of 9,000 jobs (+4.7 percent).
Other industries gaining jobs over the year were trade, transportation and utilities, adding 300 new jobs for a total of 28,800 jobs (+1.2 percent); professional and business services, with 100 new jobs for a total of 9,900 jobs (+1.0 percent); and government, adding 100 new jobs bringing the total to 15,200 jobs (+0.7 percentage point).
Information, with 700 jobs and financial activities, with 3,900 jobs, each lost 100 jobs over the year.
A review of employment data for October shows that unemployment rates fell over the month in 51 counties, rose in two counties and remained the same in 14. Compared to October 2018, rates dropped in 65 counties, increased in one county and remained the same in one.
The county with the highest unemployment rate in the state was Hendry County at 5.8 percent (down from 7.1 percent). Citrus County tied again with Highlands County for the third highest rate; Marion County tied with Calhoun, Dixie, Indian River, Madison and Polk counties with the 13th highest rate; and Levy County tied with Gilchrist, Holmes and Pasco counties with the 22nd highest rate.
Among the metro areas, the Homosassa Springs/Citrus County MSA tied again with the Sebring MSA for the highest rate and the Ocala MSA joined Lakeland-Winterhaven and Sebastian-Vero Beach with the fourth highest rate.
The region’s employment summary for November will be released on Friday, Dec. 20.
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