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Ocala
Thursday, February 29, 2024

Slight uptick in region’s unemployment rate in May

The unemployment rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 3.4% in May, which is 0.4 percentage points higher than the previous month but the same as the region’s rate from a year ago.

Across the region, the labor force expanded to 220,527 in May, which is an increase of over 5,350 workers over the year. According to preliminary employment data released by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, 212,970 individuals in the region were employed last month, an increase of 329 over the month and up 5,058 compared to May 2022.

A total of 6,474 residents in Marion, Citrus, and Levy counties were unemployed in the month of May, which is 1,083 fewer than in April.

Levy County continued to hold the lowest unemployment rate in the region at 3.1%, followed by Marion County (3.3%) and Citrus County (3.9%). Marion County’s jobless rate increased by 0.5 percentage points compared to the rate in April.

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, stated that the report shows growth in the labor market for all three counties, though the growth in employment was “lagging somewhat” over the month.

“This reflects seasonal changes we historically experience at this time of year. But really what we are seeing, when you look at the ongoing growth over the year, is that businesses continue to add new jobs, and finding the right candidates to fill those jobs with lower unemployment proves to be a challenge for many,” stated Skinner.

In the Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Marion County, non-farm employment rose to 119,500 with 3,700 additional jobs in May, which is an increase of 3.2% over the year.

The Ocala MSA led all metros statewide with the fastest annual job growth rate in Financial Activities (+4.8%), and it was tied for the second fastest annual job growth rate in Government (+6.7%). The Professional and Business Services industry (+3.6%) also grew faster in the metro area than statewide over the year.

In addition, the following industries in the Ocala MSA saw an increase in the number of jobs over the year: Education and Health Services; Trade, Transportation, and Utilities; Leisure and Hospitality; Mining, Logging, and Construction, and Manufacturing. The Information and Other Services industries were unchanged, and no industries lost jobs.

Skinner stated that CareerSource CLM offers a variety of ways to help employers meet workforce needs, including training grants and internships, upskilling current employees, partnering with local school systems to recruit new talent, and hiring events and job fairs such as the Tri-County Job and Resource Fair on Thursday, July 20 at the College of Central Florida’s campus in Chiefland.

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).