Rusty Skinner 2021 USE THIS MUG

Rusty Skinner, CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion CEO

Citrus County’s jobless rate in August was down and there are more employed, an indication that people are heading back to work following the dark days of the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity released the numbers Friday and it shows Citrus County’s unemployment rate at 6.5%, down from 7.2% in June and down from 11.7% in July 2020.

That placed Citrus in a three-way tie for fifth highest with Sumter and Miami-Dade counties.

Hendry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 7.6%. Monroe County had the lowest at 3.1%.

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Citrus County’s labor force in July contracted by 741 to 48,702, the number of employed fell by 375 to 45,517, and the number of unemployed fell by 366 to 3,185.

Compared to June 2020 when the unemployment rate was 11.7 percent, the labor force grew by 2,773, there were 4,942 more employed and 2,169 fewer unemployed.

"Even though our jobless rate is improved over the last month, we are continuing our work to provide connections with those unemployed with hiring businesses," said Rusty Skinner, CEO of CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion. "For example, in Citrus County, we will be holding a job fair on Sept. 22 that covers all industries in the region.”

Florida’s March unemployment rate was 5.1%, down from 5.7% in June and down from 11.9% last year. The  national unemployment rate for March was 5.7%, down from 6.1% in June and down from 10.5% one year ago.

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com. To see more of his stories, visit  tinyurl.com/y6kb23vv.