Marion County unemployment rate 6% in November

Workers with Sema Construction grade the overpass under construction on Northeast 36th Avenue in this July file photo. Marion County’s unemployment rate increased in November, but some segments, like construction, posted job growth [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
Marion County’s unemployment rate edged up to 6% in November even as the area add jobs, according to numbers from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The county’s rate rose from 5.6% in October and ended a string of declines dating back to July. A year ago, unemployment was 3.4%.

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 November rate still beat the state’s 6.4% unemployment number and overall, several Marion County industries managed to gain jobs.

“November’s employment data shows a continued positive growth in Marion County, both on a monthly basis and yearly… However, the level of unemployment indicates a market, that while expanding, is not growing at the rate of new or re-entering employees searching for jobs,” said Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s CEO in a prepared statement.

The Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, grew government jobs at the fastest rate in the state at 11.5%. The area added 1,800 new jobs this year for a total of 17,400 government jobs.

The area also had the fastest annual job growth rate statewide in trade, transportation, and utilities, adding more than 900 new jobs for a total of 26,100.

The local leisure and hospitality sector also added 200 new jobs and the mining, logging and construction segment grew by 400 jobs over the year.

Industries losing jobs included professional and business services with 500 job losses and education and health services with 400 job losses.

The number of Marion County residents in the labor force rose to 143,034 in November, but those employed numbered 134,455, leaving 8,579 unemployed. A month ago, the labor force was 141,736 with 134,041 employed and 7,695 unemployed. A year ago, the labor force was 138,518 with 133,766 employed and just 4,752 without a job.

— Contact Carlos E. Medina at carlos@ocalagazette.com

Posted in Business, Government, News

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