Marion’s May unemployment at 5.3%

Mike Zeak welds at Zeak Technique in Ocala in this March photo.. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

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Posted June 18, 2021 | By Ocala Gazette Staff

Mike Zeak welds at Zeak Technique in Ocala in this March photo.. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

The Marion County unemployment rate was 5.3% in May compared to 11.7% a year ago, according to numbers released by the Department of Economic Opportunity on Friday.

The unemployment rate dropped month-over-month from an adjusted 5.4% in April.

The year-over-year numbers reflect the first two months of COVID-19 pandemic which started last March.

Locally, the labor force was 145,265 in May compared to 136,428 a year earlier. The number of people with jobs was 137,518 compared to 120,482 employed a year earlier. The number of people unemployed was 7,747 in May compared with 15,946 a year ago, according to the DEO.

“Over time, over the next month or so, unemployment will drop even more as more are connecting with jobs that are waiting,” said Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource CLM.

On June 26, the state will stop the $300 federally funded weekly subsidy to those receiving unemployment compensation. Gov. Ron DeSantis urged the end of the subsidies to spur people back to work. The state also recently reinstated the requirement for those unemployed to show evidence they were seeking employment. Florida pays a maximum of $275 per week in unemployment compensation.

But the area continues to see some of the state’s fastest annual job growth including more than 1,500 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, more than 1,400 jobs in leisure and hospitality and more than 700 new jobs in manufacturing, according to a CareerSource press release.

The state’s unemployment rate was 4.9% in May, up .1% from April. The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.8%.

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