The unemployment rate dropped from 4.7% in January but was still above the 3.9% unemployment rate a year earlier. Still, last February’s numbers were a prelude to the COVID-19 pandemic, which closed much of the state’s economy for a time and sent unemployment numbers soaring.
Locally, the labor force was 141,717 in February, up from 141,333 a year earlier. January. The number of people with jobs was 135,432, lower than the 135,833 employed a year earlier. The number of people unemployed was 6,285 in February compared with 5,500 a year ago, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
But the area had the state’s fastest annual job growth in manufacturing, with 300 new jobs added, according to a press release by CareerSource CLM.
The Ocala metro area also had the second-highest annual job growth in trade, transportation, and utility jobs, with 1,100 new jobs added.
Industries that lost jobs over the year include leisure and hospitality (-1,600 jobs), education and health services (-700 jobs) and government (-600 jobs), according to CareerSource.
The state’s unemployment rate was 4.7% in February, down 0.1 percentage points from January. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.2%.