Marion County’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.3% in January, up 1.4 percentage points in one month because the area’s workforce was recalculated, according the latest unemployment report released by the state on Monday.
Marion County’s January unemployment rate, which has not been seasonally adjusted, was 5.3%, up from 3.9% in December, according to the state Department of Economic Opportunity. The rate was 4.3% in January 2020.
In January, the December unemployment rate for Marion, when it was initially released, was 5.6%. Later, it was adjusted to 3.9%, according to the local CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion press release on Monday.
Each March, officials with the Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics release a benchmark report that looks at employment numbers and revises historical data.
Adrienne Johnston, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity’s director of the Division of Workforce Services, who was quoted in the CareerSource press release, said the revision is called an annual “benchmarking” process.
Johnston said that new statistical modeling showed “unprecedented economic changes that occurred this past year.”
The Ocala metropolitan statistical area, which includes all of Marion County, was among the revisions of nonfarm job counts dating back to 2004. Despite the changes, local officials say Ocala is still rebounding well despite the pandemic.
Dale French, CareerSource CLM’s executive vice president, said Marion is not far above the unemployment rate of a year ago. Marion is 1 percentage point higher than last year before COVID-19 arrived.
Year over year, the Marion County workforce increased by 685 people to 141,221 in January, the report states. The number of people employed in January decreased by 770 to 133,750.
The number of those unemployed climbed by 1,355 people when compared to January 2020, the data reveals. There were 6,116 unemployed people in Marion County in January 2020 and 7,471 unemployed people in January 2021.
There were 5,484 people unemployed in December, which means 1,987 more people were added to the unemployment roll in January, when compared to December.
The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5.1% in December to 4.8% in January, according to state figures released on Monday. That seasonally adjusted rate was 3.5% in January 2020.
Year over year, the state workforce declined by 390,000 people to 10.1 million in January. The number of people employed in January decreased by 530,000. The number unemployed residents climbed by 140,000 people in one year, though decreased by 33,000 since December, the data reveals.
There were 342,000 unemployed people in Florida in January 2020, compared 482,000 people unemployed residents in January 2021. There were 515,000 people unemployed statewide in December.
The Ocala statistical area di have some impressive bright spots in January. Ocala reported 3.2% job growth in manufacturing jobs, the highest growth rate in the state. Marion added 300 new jobs in one year and now has 9,700.
The Ocala metro area also had the second highest annual job growth in trade, transportation, and utilities jobs. Marion County added 800 new jobs year in one year om those areas and now has 27,100 jobs.
Marion also had the third highest job growth in industry sector.
Industries that lost jobs year-over-year in January were: leisure and hospitality, 1,600 fewer jobs; education and health services, 1,000 fewer; and government, 400 fewer.
– Joe Callahan can be reached at 352-897-0307 or at [email protected] Follow him Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.