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Monday, January 16, 2023

Region’s pre-holiday unemployment rate holds steady at 3.4%

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region continued to hold steady at 3.4% in November, which is unchanged over the last two months and 0.4 percentage points lower than the region’s rate from a year ago.

Across the three-county region, the labor force in November was 209,324, an increase of 3,348 workers (+1.7%) over the year. Additionally, there were a total of 7,094 unemployed residents in the region in November, which is 36 lower than the previous month and 765 fewer than in November 2021.

According to preliminary employment data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, there were 202,230 residents who were employed across the region, which is an increase of 4,203 compared to the same time last year.

During the month of November, Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 2.9%, followed by Marion County (3.2%) and Citrus County (4.1%). Marion County’s jobless rate is down 0.5 percentage points compared to the rate that was reported in November 2021.

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, stated that the preliminary data may point to a tightening labor market as the region continues its post-pandemic economic recovery.

“The reality is, today we have more people employed in our region than we did before Covid hit,” said Skinner. He stated that the number of employed residents is 16,000 higher than five years ago, and there are 2,637 fewer individuals who are unemployed.

“We really don’t see a lot of involuntary unemployment right now,” added Skinner.

In the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which covers all of Marion County, non-agricultural employment was 115,100 in November. This is an increase of 2,900 jobs over the year for a 2.6% annual growth rate.

In the Ocala MSA, the mining, logging, and construction (+4.5 percent) and leisure and hospitality (+8.6%) industries grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

The industries that gained jobs in the Ocala MSA over the year include leisure and hospitality (+1,100 jobs); education and health services (+700 jobs); mining, logging, and construction (+400 jobs); trade, transportation, and utilities (+200 jobs); professional and business services (+200 jobs); other services (+200 jobs); and government (+100 jobs).

No industries in the Ocala MSA lost jobs over the year, and several industries (financial activities; information; and manufacturing) were unchanged in the number of jobs.

For more information about job fairs, hiring events, and other candidate and business services, visit the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion website or call 1-800-434-JOBS (5627).