Marion County unemployment rate 5.3% in January

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Posted March 15, 2021 | Ocala Gazette Staff

Ocala and Marion County had the second-highest annual job growth in the state for manufacturing jobs. [Stock image]

Marion County’s January unemployment rate was 5.3%, up from a revised 3.9% in December, according to data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Locally, the labor force grew by 141,221 in January. The number of people with jobs was listed at 133,750. The number of those unemployed was 7,471.

The total number of nonfarm jobs in the Ocala area was down 1,700 jobs over the year, according to a press release by CareerSource CLM.

But the area had the state’s second-highest annual job growth in manufacturing, with 300 new jobs added. Manufacturing accounts for 9,700 jobs locally.

The Ocala metro area also had the second-highest annual job growth in trade, transportation, and utility jobs with 800 new jobs added to the segment accounting to 27,100 jobs.

Industries that lost jobs over the year in January included leisure and hospitality (-1,600 jobs), education and health services (-1,000 jobs) and government (-400 jobs), according to CareerSource.

The state’s unemployment rate was 4.8% in January, down 0.3 percentage points from a revised December rate.

Adrienne Johnston, the department’s chief economist, said even as people return to the overall labor force, the need to revitalize the vital leisure and hospitality industry continues to be a focus.

“We’re continuing to see some job losses in the leisure and hospitality industry,” Johnston said in a conference call with reporters. “We know in January, there were some additional layoffs in the tourism industry related to some of the theme parks. And so that seems to be continuing to drive most of the job loss. We also saw some losses in professional business services as well in January.”

As of January, the leisure and hospitality industry had lost 284,100 jobs, or 22.3 percent of jobs, over the past year, according to the state agency.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

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