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Jobless rates climb in area and state

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By Jeff M. Hardison

BY JEFF M. HARDISON

For the Pioneer

The two biggest cities for Levy County workers to find jobs have shown increases in the numbers of unemployed people within their own city limits in 2007, according to records.

Unemployment rates for Gainesville and Ocala showed an increase in 2007 in comparison with 2006, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The average unemployment rate in Gainesville for all of 2006 was 2.7 percent. The average unemployment rate in Ocala for all of 2006 was 3.4 percent, according to federal records.

In August, September and October of 2007, Gainesville unemployment went up slightly from the 2006 average to range from 3.2 percent in August to 2.9 percent in September to 3 percent in October, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.

In July through October of 2007, Ocala unemployment showed a 1.4 percent increase above the average from 2006, because the rate remained at 4.8 percent during those four months, according to federal records.

A Dec. 21 report from CLM Workforce Connection showed the unemployment rate in the CLM region (Citrus, Levy and Marion counties) was 5 percent in November, an increase of 1.5 percent from the same month in 2006.

In regard to Levy County, the unemployment rate went from 4.1 percent in October to 4.4 percent in November. The November rate compares with a 3.2 percent unemployment rate in November of 2006.

Also in regard to Levy County, the CLM report shows a 2.7 percent population increase from 38,981 in November of 2006 to 40,045 in November of 2007. The average annual wage in Levy County went up by 4.7 percent in 2005, when that average was $24,978 to $26,159 in 2006, according to CLM.

CLM Workforce Connection is the local, business-led organization that plans and coordinates quality employment and training services for businesses and individual career seekers in Citrus, Levy and Marion Counties of Florida.

The workforce board sets policy and directs expenditures of more than $6 million in funds that underwrite services provided through the One Stop Workforce Connection offices.