Bruce Register 0408

Bruce Register

Citrus was tied for third worst unemployment rate in the state in August, according to numbers released Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (FDEO).

Citrus County’s unemployment rate last month was 5.2%, unchanged from 5.2% from July and down from 5.3% from August 2018.

Bruce Register, the county’s economic development director, sees positives in the report, especially when looked at year over year.

“(The) good news is that the year-to-year is moving in the right direction, and it appears we are having a good season this summer in that our labor force and job growth from July to August is outpacing last year’s data,” Register said.

Citrus County’s labor force in August grew by 714 to 48,372 from a month earlier. The number of employed increased by 662 to 45,849 and there were 52 less people unemployed for the month.

Register had these two takeaways from the August report:

— Citrus County, from August 2018 to August 2019 grew its labor force by about 800, or 1.77% —  which ranks it 46th by percentage growth of labor force among state counties.

— During that same period, employment (jobs) grew by 800, or 1.66 percent for a 43rd state ranking.

Hendry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate in August at 8.2% followed by Hardee County at 6.3% Citrus shared third place with Highlands and Sumter counties.

Florida's unemployment rate in August was 3.3%, unchanged from the month before. 

Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-3205 or mbates@chronicleonline.com.

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