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Thursday, February 29, 2024

May’s jobless rate dips to 12.2 percent – 8.2 percent higher than a year ago

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 12.2 percent in May – down 0.7 percentage point over the month.

That’s 8.2 percentage point higher than the region’s rate a year ago and 2.1 percentage point lower than the state rate of 14.3 percent. There were 23,643 unemployed in the region – 250 fewer than in April and 15,653 more than May 2019 when the jobless rate was 4.0 percent.

The region’s labor force was 194,388, an increase of 4,781 since April and a loss of 7,049 over the year. There were 170,745 employed, representing a one-month increase of 5,036 and a drop of 22,702 compared to May 2019.

Nonfarm employment in the Ocala/Marion County metropolitan statistical area was 102,600, an increase of 2,200 jobs over the month and a 3.8 percent decrease of 4,100 jobs over the year. Mining, logging and construction continued to be the only industry sector in the Ocala MSA that gained jobs over the year. At 6.0 percent, adding 500 jobs, it also grew faster in the metro area than statewide.

While the trade, transportation and utilities sector lost a net 300 jobs over the year due to a 4.8 percent drop of 800 jobs in retail trade, wholesale trade grew by 200 jobs for a 4.9 percent job growth rate and transportation, warehousing and utilities added 300 jobs for a growth rate of 8.1 percent.

According to the preliminary jobs report for May released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County had the lowest jobless rate in the region at 9.9 percent, down 0.7 percentage point over the month. Marion County followed at 11.7 percent, a 0.3 percentage point drop. And Citrus County’s rate was 13.3 percent, down 0.6 percent point from April.

Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 14.3 percent, up one percent over the month and an increase of 11.3 percent compared to May 2019. The nation’s jobless rate was 13.0 percent, down from 14.4 percent in April and up 10.3 percent over the year.

Kathleen Woodring, executive vice president for CareerSource CLM, said, “It is heartening to see the gains made over the month, with expansion of the labor force driven by job growth that outpaced increases in unemployment. We may still be a long way from where we were a year ago, but I don’t think anyone reasonably expected our region to rebound immediately and completely. Still, this report confirms we are heading in the right direction.”