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Levy jobless rate in January: 10.5

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Revised numbers show ‘slight’ jobs decline

By The Staff

If history is to be believed, the unemployment figures for Levy County have not been this good since early 2009 when they started climbing, and again in April 2011 when they started trending down from 12 percent mark to January's 10.5 percent.
Levy County's jobless rate for January, which was released by the state on Tuesday, was 10.5 percent, down from December's revised 10.6 percent rate. The last time it was 10.5 percent was April 2011 and February 2009.
  “I think ‘cautious optimism’ is the by-word,” said Rusty Skinner, Workforce Connection’s chief executive officer. “Compared to January a year ago, we’ve improved considerably.” In January 2011 the jobless rate for Levy was 11.9 percent. In January 2010 it was 13 percent.  January 2009 it was 10 percent.  And in January 2008 it was 5.3 percent.
For the three counties in Workforce Connection’s region — Citrus, Levy and Marion counties — the rate was 11.3 percent, down 0.1 percent from December’s rate and 1.7 percentage points lower than the same time last year. Marion County posted an unemployment rate of 11.4 percent, down from 11.5 percent and Citrus County remained the same at 11.3 percent.
The January employment numbers are released in early March because the state does its annual benchmarking process. That process includes revisions to the statistics for previous years, including 2011.
Florida’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January fell to 9.6 percent, down from the revised December rate of 9.7 percent. The national rate was 8.3 percent.
“There’s definitely an uptick in interest,” Skinner said, and went on “discussing trends is not really possible” in comparing January to December 2011 because the benchmarking resets the base. However, he added, it is valid to compare January to January.