OCALA, Fla. (Aug. 21, 2020) – The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 9.6 percent in July, one percentage point higher than in June and 5.2 percentage point higher than the region’s rate a year ago rate.
There were 19,083 unemployed in the region, 2,428 more than the previous month and 10,272 more than July 2019.
The region’s labor force was 197,884, an expansion of 3,144 since June. While there was a slight uptick in employment over the month – an increase of 716 to 178,801 – the bump in labor force was driven by the increased number of unemployed.
Over the year, the region’s labor force contracted by 3,647, the number of those employed dropped by 13,919 and number of jobless has increased by 10,272.
According to the preliminary jobs report for July, released today by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County had the lowest jobless rate in the region at 7.9 percent, up 0.6 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed at 9.3 percent, an increase of 1.0 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 11.2 percent, up 1.4 percentage point from June.
Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 11.5 percent, up from 10.5 percent the previous montht over the month and an increase of 8.1 percentage point over the year.
Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer for CareerSource CLM, said that “I don’t think we see any great surprises in this report.”
Skinner said it reflects seasonal influences that historically effect employment during the summer, as well as lingering impacts of COVID-19.
“Yes, we see an increase in unemployment numbers, but we also see businesses that are hiring and hiring back,” he said. “We are just one of several community partners working hard to get the economy back on its feet.”
Skinner said that in addition to providing virtual services as well as appointments for in- person assistance, CareerSource CLM now offers all residents of the three-county region free access to SkillUp Citrus Levy Marion, a dynamic, online job training and certification platform.
Powered by Metrix Learning, SkillUp features more than 5,000 courses and 180-plus in-demand industry certificates. Users may take as many classes as they wish for six months. It can be accessed at citruslevymarion.skillupamerican.org.
Here’s a breakdown of region’s June jobs numbers by county:
Citrus County’s labor force shrank by 401 over the month to 45,131, the number of employed decreased by 982 to 40,066 and the number of unemployed rose by 581 to 5,065. Compared to June 2019, when the jobless rate was 5.3 percent, the labor force has contracted by 1,541, the number of employed has dropped by 4,151 and the number of unemployed increased by 2,610.
Levy County’s labor force expanded by 160 to 15,606, the number of those with jobs rose by 52 to 14,378 and the number of unemployed increased by 108 to 1,228. That’s an over-the-year drop of 715 in the labor force, 1,276 fewer working and 561 more unemployed compared to when the rate was 4.1 percent.
Marion County’s labor force increased by 3,385 to 137,147, the number of those with jobs increased by 1,646 to 124,357 and the number of unemployed rose by 1,739 to 12,790. That’s 1,391 fewer than the size of the labor force a year ago, a drop of 8,492 in the number of those with jobs and an increase of 7,101 in the number of unemployed compared to June 2019 when the jobless rate was 4.1 percent.
Statewide, 63 counties including Citrus, Levy and Marion saw unemployment rates increase in July, while four counties experienced slight drops in the jobless rates.
Citrus County held the 9th highest rate compared to all 67 counties, Marion County ranked 32nd and Levy County 43rd.
The Homosassa Springs MSA, which covers all of Citrus County, had the 6th highest unemployment rate among the state’ metro areas and the Ocala MSA was 17th.
Nonfarm employment in the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 104,700, a loss of 700 (-0.7 percent) over the year.
On the plus side, compared to all other metro areas in July, the Ocala MSA had both the fastest annual job growth rate and highest annual job growth in leisure and hospitality growing at 2.3 percent and adding 300 new jobs.
In addition, trade, transportation and utilities, at 200 jobs and a growth rate of 0.8 percent, posted the highest annual job growth for that industry sector and the second fastest job growth rate, compared to the state’s metros.
In addition, mining, logging and construction grew faster in the metro area than statewide, adding 600 new jobs for a growth rate of 7.1 percent over the year.
Industries losing jobs over the year were professional and business services (-700 jobs); education and health services (-300); other services (-300); manufacturing (-200); information (-100); financial activities (-100); and government (-100).
Other than mining, logging and construction and trade, transportation and utilities, no industry sectors grew in the Ocala MSA over the year. Those losing jobs were education and health services (-600 jobs); professional and business services (-500 jobs); information (-200 jobs); manufacturing (-200 jobs); financial activities (-200 jobs); other services (-200 jobs); and leisure and hospitality (-100 jobs). The government industry was unchanged over the year.
In July, nonfarm employment in the Homosassa Springs MSA was 30,800, a decrease of 1,300 jobs (-4.0 percent) over the year.
The region’s preliminary employment summary for August will be released on September 18.
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