Regional unemployment bumps above 7%

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Levy's larger workforce found fewer jobs after holidays

By The Staff

Career Source Citrus Levy Marion reported on Monday that the unemployment rate in the three county region in January was 7.4 percent — an increase of 0.4 percent from December 2013, 2.2 percent lower than a year ago, and the lowest since June 2008 when the rate was 7.6 percent.

In the county breakdown Levy had a 7.3 percent jobless rate, its lowest since it hit 7.7 percent in July 2008; Marion was 7.4 percent its lowest since June 2008 when the rate was 7.6 percent; and Citrus was 7.5 percent, its lowest since 8.0 percent in June 2008.

Levy County's labor force grew slightly by 33 to 16,138, while those with jobs fell by 69 to 14,960 and the number of unemployed rose by 76 to 1,178. The good news is the unemployment number is down by 347 from a year ago when unemployment was 9.4 percent.

The employment summary, released for the first time in two months by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity following annual benchmarking, shows that all 67 counties experienced increases in unemployment rates due to seasonality.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion CEO Rusty Skinner said that the annual benchmarking that occurs in February “provides a more precise record of our unemployment and job growth. While these numbers are obviously not what we had expected, they are the most accurate indication that is available.”

Local rates are not seasonally adjusted. Florida’s seasonally adjusted rate is 6.1 percent and the non-adjusted rate is 6.3 percent; the national rate, adjusted, is 6.6 percent and non-adjusted is 7.0 percent.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion is the agency dedicated to connecting qualified workers with local employers in Citrus, Levy and Marion counties.

For more information, visit careersourceclm.com or call 1-800-434-JOBS, ext. 1234.