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Ocala

Region’s July jobless rate hits 9.6 percent during COVID-19 pandemic

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 9.6 percent in July.

That’s one percentage point higher than in June and 5.2 percentage point higher than the region’s rate a year ago rate. There were 19,083 unemployed in the region, 2,428 more than the previous month and 10,272 more than July 2019.

The region’s labor force was 197,884, an expansion of 3,144 since June. While there was a slight uptick in employment over the month – an increase of 716 to 178,801 – the bump in labor force was driven by the increased number of unemployed.

Over the year, the region’s labor force contracted by 3,647, the number of those employed dropped by 13,919 and number of jobless has increased by 10,272.

According to the preliminary jobs report for July released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Levy County had the lowest jobless rate in the region at 7.9 percent, up 0.6 percentage point over the month; Marion County followed at 9.3 percent, an increase of 1.0 percentage point; and Citrus County’s rate was 11.2 percent, up 1.4 percentage point from June.

Florida’s not seasonally adjusted jobless rate – a measure that matches the way local rates are calculated – was 11.5 percent, up from 10.5 percent the previous month over the month and an increase of 8.1 percentage point over the year.

Rusty Skinner, chief executive officer for CareerSource CLM, said the report reflects seasonal influences that historically effect employment during the summer, as well as lingering impacts of COVID-19.

“Yes, we see an increase in unemployment numbers, but we also see businesses that are hiring and hiring back,” he said. “We are just one of several community partners working hard to get the economy back on its feet.”

Here’s a breakdown of region’s June jobs numbers by county:

  • Marion County’s labor force increased by 3,385 to 137,147, the number of those with jobs increased by 1,646 to 124,357 and the number of unemployed rose by 1,739 to 12,790. That’s 1,391 fewer than the size of the labor force a year ago, a drop of 8,492 in the number of those with jobs and an increase of 7,101 in the number of unemployed compared to June 2019 when the jobless rate was 4.1 percent.
  • Citrus County’s labor force shrank by 401 over the month to 45,131, the number of employed decreased by 982 to 40,066 and the number of unemployed rose by 581 to 5,065. Compared to June 2019, when the jobless rate was 5.3 percent, the labor force has contracted by 1,541, the number of employed has dropped by 4,151 and the number of unemployed increased by 2,610.
  • Levy County’s labor force expanded by 160 to 15,606, the number of those with jobs rose by 52 to 14,378 and the number of unemployed increased by 108 to 1,228. That’s an over-the-year drop of 715 in the labor force, 1,276 fewer working and 561 more unemployed compared to when the rate was 4.1 percent.

Statewide, 63 counties including Citrus, Levy and Marion saw unemployment rates increase in July, while four counties experienced slight drops in the jobless rates. Citrus County held the 9th highest rate compared to all 67 counties, Marion County ranked 32nd and Levy County 43rd.

The Homosassa Springs MSA, which covers all of Citrus County, had the 6th highest unemployment rate among the state’ metro areas and the Ocala MSA was 17th.

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