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The jobless rate in January for the Citrus-Levy-Marion County region was 9.1 percent, up 0.2 percent from December’s rate but 1.9 percentage points lower than the same time last year and down nearly 4 percent since January 2011, according to Workforce Connection, which serves the three counties.
According to Monday’s release of the January 2013 unemployment rates by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), Citrus County’s unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage points to 9.3 percent; Marion County posted an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent, up 0.2 percent over the month; and Levy County rose 0.3 percentage points to 9.0 percent. Local rates are not seasonally adjusted.
Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest since November 2008 when it was also 7.8 percent. The national rate was 7.9 percent in January and has since dropped to 7.7 percent.
January employment numbers are released in mid-March while February’s will be released March 29. This schedule is routine each year due to DEO’s annual benchmarking process. That process includes revisions to the statistics going back to 2008. Revised data will be available in April.
For the second consecutive month, the Ocala Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which covers all of Marion County, posted the highest job-growth rate in Florida at 3.3 percent, with 3,000 new jobs over the year. Florida’s job-growth rate during the same period was 1.8 percent.
Rusty Skinner, Workforce Connection’s CEO, said the slight uptick in unemployment is not alarming, and was experienced statewide. Fifty-one of Florida’s 67 counties posted an increase in jobless rates, 11 remained unchanged and only five dropped.
Out of a regional labor force of 205,281, there were 18,712 unemployed, up by 214 over the month, but down 4,206 since January 2012. Here is how employment numbers break down for each county in the Workforce Connection region:
Citrus County’s labor force dropped by 328 over the month to 56,286 and the number of employed fell by 509 to 51,066 while those without jobs rose by 181 to 5,220. Compared to January 2012, however, the labor force expanded by 424, the number of employed rose by 1,279 and the number of jobless dropped 855 from 6,075. Two years ago, Citrus County’s unemployment rate was 12.7 percent with 7,139 people out of work.
Levy County’s labor force fell by 194 since December 2012 to 16,211, employment fell by 227 to 14,752 and the number of unemployed rose by 33 to 1,459. Over the year the number of unemployed dropped by 252 from 1,711. In January 2011, the jobless rate was 11.9 percent with 2,012 people unemployed.
Marion County’s labor force decreased over the month by 639 to 132,784, the number of those with jobs fell by 753 to 120,741 and those who were unemployed rose by 114 to 12,033. That represents over the year gains of 398 to the labor force, an increase of 3,095 of those with jobs and a drop of 2,697 in unemployed from 14,730. That compares to an unemployment rate of 13.2 percent two years ago when 17,520 were without jobs.
Among Florida’s 67 counties, Marion County’s unemployment rate was 14th highest in the state, Citrus County was 11th and Levy County was 15th.