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Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.2 Percent; Record High Number Employed Reached

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2023) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for October 2023 announced today is 3.2 percent, slightly below the 3.3 percent rate for the past three months, but above the year-ago rate of 2.7 percent, according to the latest reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Commerce Department (all numbers not seasonally adjusted):

  • The county’s rate remains below the 3.6 percent national rate, but above Florida’s 3.0 percent rate. The county’s rate has remained below the nation’s for more than three years.
  • Total nonagricultural employment in the county reached a record high 686,300, adding 9,300 jobs over the year – a 1.4 percent gain. For more than two years, there have been more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County.
  • The labor force in Palm Beach County hit a record high of 792,420, up 2.8 percent over the year.

“Job seekers have much to be thankful for this holiday season. Our unemployment rate has been below 4 percent for two years, a sign that the labor market remains much stronger than usual for workers,” said Julia Dattolo, President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “Employers are dishing out pay increases, signing bonuses, childcare provisions, and flexible work schedules to hire and retain employees.”

Job growth/loss by industry sector: The education/health services industry sector led the county in over-the-year job growth adding 6,100 jobs for a 5.6 percent jump. The number of jobs in the leisure/hospitality and government sectors grew faster in the county than statewide over the year.

By the numbers, over-the-year job gains and losses by sector are:

Industry                                               Change                         Total jobs

Education/health services                     +6,100 jobs                   115,400

Leisure/hospitality                                +4,500 jobs                   93,800

Government                                         +1,700 jobs                   65,700

Trade/transportation/utilities                +1,300 jobs                   125,100

Financial activities                                 +300 jobs                      50,000

Construction                                         +200 jobs                      42,100

Manufacturing                                      +100 jobs                      21,400

Other services                                       -100 jobs                      30,100

Information                                           -300 jobs                      10,900


Trends Observed This Period


  • Continued strong job market
  • Tourism season ramps up in Palm Beach County
  • U.S. inflation drops to 3.2%


  • Housing affordability
  • Rising insurance costs
  • Childcare costs, availability

Looking for a New Career? Looking to Hire? Here’s Help!

CareerSource offers job fairs, workshops, and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting. During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 33,000 residents find employment/reemployment ranging from entry-level to executive suite. CareerSource also awarded $11.9 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time. More information is at

CareerSource also provides services to help businesses prosper in today’s challenging marketplace including recruitment, assessments, and referrals of qualified job candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; and grants for training employees.

CareerSource centers closed Nov. 22 – 24 for Thanksgiving

Next employment reports Dec. 22:  State and local employment reports for Nov. 2023 are scheduled for release on Dec. 22, 2023. Reports for year-end 2023 results are set for Jan. 19, 2024.


Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 before 3 p.m. today for scheduling.

Note: The unemployment rate is a measure of how many people in the labor force are out of a job. For example, if total employment holds constant and unemployed Americans stop looking for work, thereby leaving the labor force, the unemployment rate will fall even though no jobs have been added. Conversely, if employment holds steady and recent graduates enter the labor force looking for work, the unemployment rate will rise even though no jobs have disappeared. Palm Beach County’s record low unemployment rate was 2.2 percent in December 2022. Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate was 14.7 percent in April 2020.



CareerSource Palm Beach County, Inc. is the direct service provider for various workforce programs supported by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and other agencies as part of awards totaling $14,386,462 (revised annually). Unless otherwise stipulated, all statements, news releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other applicable documents are fully funded from federal sources.


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