Labor force in north central Florida is expanding

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 5:07 PM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - The labor force in north central Florida is expanding, and that may mean a shortage in help wanted signs.

According to CareerSource CLM, in April, Marion County’s labor force grew by 999 and the number of those with jobs went up by 955.

Logan McDonald and his business partner Ryan Bitter own Midland Site Works Solutions.

“Our bread and butter is we clear lots and do dirt work for home developers in Marion County,” McDonald said.

It’s said that the first year of business is often times the hardest, and these two took on maybe one of the biggest challenges anyone has every faced.

“Same day as the shut down we actually signed the papers on starting the business, so yeah that was day one. We were ‘taking a leap of faith for lack of a better term. This what we’ve both always wanted to do and I was in a position to do it, he was getting out of school. We were going to make it work one way or another,” McDonald said.

And they did it.

They’re now booked six weeks out and are hiring.

“We’re blessed, that’s all I can say,” he added.

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And hundreds of other business are expanding just as fast.

“If you look at the labor statistics that come out of the DEO, which is the Department of Economic Opportunity up in Tallahassee, our job listings for this area in the last report were 10,600. 10,000 of which were listed in Marion County alone,” Executive Vice President of CareerSource CLM, Dale French said.

And there’s an employment opportunity for almost everyone.

“And I will say most of the positions that we have are full time positions that offer benefits especially when you look in the manufacturing, logistics, and distribution fields. Part time positions do exist if you seek them out, but most of them are full time positions,” French said.

Officials said they’ve seen steady growth over the past year.

The hospitality industry, transportation, manufacturing, construction and government are just some of the fields that grew faster than statewide over the year.

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