Marion unemployment 5.4% in April

The Marion County unemployment rate was 5.4% in April compared to 12.6% a year ago, according to numbers released by the Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday.

The Hilton Garden Inn in the Ocala Downtown Square. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]
The unemployment rate remained the same month-over-month from an adjusted 5.4% in March.

The year-over-year numbers include the fallout from the state’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic last April.

Locally, the labor force was 144,568 in April compared to 132,993 a year earlier. The number of people with jobs was 136,738 compared to 116,279 employed a year earlier. The number of people unemployed was 7,830 in April compared with 16,714 a year ago, according to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Ocala area’s leisure and hospitality industry grew at the fastest rate in the state. The segment was hit hard by the pandemic as tourism, hotels and restaurants took the brunt of the hit. For the year Ocala has added 3,500 jobs, a more than 40% increase for the year for a total of 12,100 jobs. But the area continues to see the state’s fastest annual job growth in manufacturing, with 400 new jobs added totaling 9,800, according to a press release by CareerSource CLM.

The Ocala metro area also grew the fastest in trade, transportation, and utility jobs with a jump of 2,800 jobs, professional and business services with an increase of 900 jobs. Manufacturing also added 900 new jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate was 4.8% in April, up .1% from March. The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.1%.

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