Marion County unemployment rate 5.6% in December


File photo: Construction workers build a large block wall. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

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Posted January 22, 2021 | Ocala Gazette Staff

Construction workers build a large block wall for the new Publix at Pearl Britain Plaza on Northeast 35th Street in Ocala in this file photo. Construction is one of the leading industries for job growth in Marion County. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Marion County’s unemployment rate dipped to 5.6% in December, according to numbers from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The county’s rate dropped from 6% in November. A year ago, unemployment was 3.2%.

The rate spiked earlier this year in the wake of the COVID-19 quarantines sending unemployment rates skyrocketing across the country. In Florida, the rate rose to a record 14.5% in May, according to DEO records.

Locally, the December rate beat the state’s 6.1% unemployment number and overall, several Marion County industries managed to gain jobs.

The number of Marion County residents in the labor force was 142,294 in December, with the number employed at 134,309, leaving 7,985 unemployed. A month ago, the labor force was 141,753 with 133,648 employed and 8,104 unemployed. A year ago, the labor force was 137,663 with 133,293 employed and just 4,470 without a job.

The US unemployment rate was 6.7% in December.