October unemployment at 5.7 percent

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 5.7 percent in October, 0.3 percentage point higher than September’s adjusted rate and 2.1 percentage points higher than the region’s rate a year ago.

The agency reports there were 11,713 unemployed in the region, 620 more than the previous month and 4,332 more than October 2019. The region’s labor force of 204,401 was up 682 since September and an expansion of 752 over the year. There were 192,688 employed region-wide, an increase of 62 over the month but a drop of 3,580 from the previous October.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion’s Chief Executive Officer Rusty Skinner noted in a prepared statement that there is no cause for concern in the slight reductions in labor force and employment.

“This is not uncommon for October, which is somewhat of a transitional month for employment,” Skinner stated in the news release. “The jumps in unemployment are reflective of the expansion of the labor force—more looking for work than the economy is absorbing with employment. This is not necessarily a negative in a rebounding economy.”

This photo was take prior to COVID-19. Currently, only virtual job fairs are being held. Photo courtesy CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion.

According to the preliminary jobs data for October, released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County continues to hold the lowest jobless rate in the region at 4.9 percent, up 0.4 percentage point over the month; followed by Marion County at 5.6 percent, an increase of 0.3 percentage point; and Citrus County at 6.5 percent, 0.2 percentage point higher than the September rate.

Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate—a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated—was 6.4 percent, 0.8 percentage point lower than the previous month and an increase of 3.6 percent over the year.

Marion County’s labor force expanded by 452 to 142,137, the number of those with jobs increased by 12 to 134,215 and the number of unemployed rose by 440, to 7,922. The labor force grew by 3,020, the number of employed fell by 105 and the number of unemployed increased by 3,125 over the year, when the jobless rate was 3.4 percent.

“We see the beginnings of holiday season hiring appearing in Marion and Levy counties,” Skinner noted in the release. “Also, over the year, Marion’s labor force and employment growth reflect the efforts of the CEP (Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership) in bringing new businesses to Marion County.”

Nonfarm employment in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was 108,800, an increase of 1,200 jobs (+1.1 percent) over the year.

The Ocala MSA, which covers all of Marion County, had the fastest annual job growth rate, compared to all metro areas in Florida, in government, at 11.6 percent, as well as the highest annual job growth in government, adding 1,800 jobs over the year.

The Ocala MSA had the highest annual job growth in the state in trade, transportation and utilities, adding 700 new jobs, which also marked the second fastest annual job growth at 2.8 percent.

Both industry sectors grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year, along with mining, logging and construction, which grew by grew by 3.4 percent (+300 jobs).

Industries losing jobs over the year were professional and business services (-600 jobs); financial activities (-300); manufacturing (-200); education and health services (-200); information (-100); leisure and hospitality (-100); and other services (-100).

Find the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity report and more at floridajobs.org. To learn more about CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion, visit careersourceclm.com.

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