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Levy unemployment takes a plunge

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Levy County residents has some success finding jobs in February as the unemployment rate for that month was 10.1 percent, down from 10.5 percent in January, according to a Workforce Connection press release.

The jobless rate in February for Workforce Connection’s Citrus, Levy and Marion counties region was 10.7, dropping 0.6 percent since January and 1.8 percentage points lower than the same time last year. It's the first time the region's unemployment rate has gone below 11 percent since December 2008.

“This is a positive report that shows good job growth and holds potential for the future,” said Rusty Skinner, Workforce Connection’s chief executive officer. “This is very good news.” We’ll have to see where we are with March and April.

All three counties posted increases in the number of employed, decreases in the number of unemployed, and expansion of the labor force, with the exception of a slight dip in Levy’s County’s labor force.

Levy County’s labor force remained virtually unchanged, shrinking by 39 to 16,753, employment is up for 34 jobs to 15,056 and the number of unemployed decreased by 73 to 1,697. The unemployment  a year ago was 11.5 percent.

Citrus County’s unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, while its labor force expanded by 126 to 55,270, the number of employed increased by 535 to 49,431 and those unemployed  dropped by 409 to 5,839. The unemployment rate in February 2011 was 12.2 percent.

Marion County’s unemployment rate was 10.8 percent while its labor force is up by 763 to 132,669, the number of employed rose by 1,554 to 118,397 and those without jobs fell by 791 to 14,272. The unemployment rate fell over the year from 12.8 percent.

Florida’s unemployment rate in February fell to 9.1 percent, down 0.4 percent over the month, while t national rate fell to 8.7 percent.

Rebecca Rust, chief economist Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, noted that even as jobless rates fell, a component of the unemployment rate is that “more people are re-entering the job market.”

“When you see employment gain growth and unemployment loss, you can say most people are finding jobs,” Rust said.

To obtain a full copy of the February 2012 unemployment reports or to find out more about upcoming events and services, visit ww.clmworkforce.com or call 1-800-434-JOBS, ext. 1234.