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Ocala
Thursday, February 29, 2024

‘Positive signs’ as jobless rate in tri-county region holds steady in Sept.

Over 216,000 residents in the tri-county region of Citrus, Levy, and Marion were employed during the month of September, an increase of 975 over the previous month and 6,460 more than a year ago.

According to data from FloridaCommerce, formerly known as the Department of Economic Opportunity, the jobless rate in the CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion region was 4.1% in September, which is unchanged from the previous month and 0.7 percentage points higher than the area’s rate in September 2022.

There were a total of 9,222 unemployed residents in the tri-county area in September, a slight decrease compared to August, though there were 1,770 more individuals without jobs than in September 2022.

For the second consecutive month, Levy and Marion counties were tied with an unemployment rate of 3.9%. In Citrus, the jobless rate of 4.8% was also unchanged over the month.

In Marion County, there were 148,562 employed residents last month, an increase of 791 compared to August and 3,633 more than a year ago. The county had 6,005 unemployed residents, a decrease of 64 over the month and up 1,107 compared to September 2022.

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource CLM’s chief executive officer, stated that the September report shows “several positive signs” for the tri-county region.

“First, where there has been growth in people in the labor force, that increase has been absorbed in the job market,” stated Skinner. He added that “of course that’s not to say that everyone that entered the labor force in the last month found employment.”

According to Skinner, a second positive indication from the report is the “relative stability of the labor force and employment in Citrus and Levy counties, which is a credit to the resiliency of their employer community after the effects of Hurricane Idalia.”

Skinner noted that CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion received support from Governor Ron DeSantis to assist any employee adversely affected by the storm, and he encouraged job seekers to visit the CareerSource CLM centers located in all three counties.

“While we realize that transportation is a challenge for many, we serve all three counties and employers are seeking skilled employees, regardless of where they live,” stated Skinner.

Skinner highlighted the success of last month’s regional job fair, which attracted more than 230 individuals vying to meet with 33 area businesses, all with immediate positions to fill.

In addition, Skinner stated that the annual Paychecks for Patriots job fair offers another opportunity for those looking for employment. Paychecks for Patriots is free and open to all general job seekers, and the hiring event features a variety of “veterans friendly” businesses eager to hire veterans and active service members as well as military families.

The Paychecks for Patriots job fair will take place on November 9, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Marion County Public Library Headquarters in Ocala.

In September, in the Ocala metropolitan statistical area that includes all of Marion County, non-farm employment was 118,700, an increase of 1,800 jobs (+1.5%) over the year.

The Ocala MSA led all metros statewide with the fastest annual job growth rate in Financial Activities (+4.8%), Government (+6.7%), and Other Services (+3.1%).

The following industries in the Ocala MSA gained jobs: Education and Health Services (+800 jobs); Government (+800 jobs); Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (+400 jobs); Leisure and Hospitality (+100 jobs); and Other Services (+100 jobs).

Two industries, Government and Other Services, grew faster in the Ocala metro area than statewide over the year.

The industries that lost jobs in the metro area include Mining, Logging and Construction (-200 jobs) and Manufacturing (-200 jobs). Several other industries (Financial Activities, Information, and Professional and Business Services) were unchanged in the number of jobs over the year.

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).