West Palm Beach, Fla. (Nov. 18, 2022) – Palm Beach County job seekers have much to be thankful for this holiday season, according to the latest monthly reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (all numbers not seasonally adjusted):
- Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for October 2022 announced today is 2.7 percent, below the year-ago rate of 3.5 percent. The county’s rate remains below the 3.4 percent national rate and matches Florida’s rate. The county’s rate has remained below the nation’s for more than two years.
- The county’s unemployment rate has stayed at or below 3.0 percent for nine consecutive months this year.
- For more than a year, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County. There are 35,641 job openings vs. 20,681 unemployed people in October. Total employment has exceeded the pre-Covid peak every month since Feb. 2022.
- Total nonagricultural employment in the county is 676,600 adding 30,600 jobs over the year – a 4.7 percent gain.
Palm Beach County’s record low unemployment rate of 2.3 percent occurred in April 2022. Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent in April 2020.
“Job seekers have much to be thankful for in today’s market with job gains in every industry sector this month. More than 30,000 people are working now compared to last year,” 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.
Job growth by industry sector: For more than a year, the leisure/hospitality industry sector has led the county in over-the-year job growth – adding 11,600 jobs for a 13.9 percent jump. Leisure/hospitality also had the fastest annual job growth rate in the state. Jobs in three industry sectors – leisure/hospitality, education/health services, and government -- grew faster in the county than statewide over the year.
By the numbers, there were over-the-year job gains in every sector in Palm Beach County:
Industry Change Total jobs
Leisure/hospitality +11,600 jobs 95,300
Education/health services +6,900 jobs 110,700
Trade/transportation/utilities +4,600 jobs 123,600
Other services +2,300 jobs 34,300
Government +1,500 jobs 64,600
Manufacturing +1,300 jobs 21,800
Financial activities +1,000 jobs 47,600
Construction +600 jobs 40,000
Professional/business services +500 jobs 127,800
Information +300 jobs 10,700
Trends Observed This Period
- Continued strong job market and wage growth
- Continued strong consumer demand
- Strong tourism season predicted in Palm Beach County
- Inflation remains high; high costs of food, housing, energy
- Hurricanes worsened state housing shortage; rebuilding is complicated by shortage of construction workers and supplies/materials
- Higher interest rates may weaken worker leverage in job market, lead to layoffs
- Renewed prospect of a national railroad labor strike and possible airline pilots strike
Where Have All The Job Seekers Gone?
COVID accelerated three local and national conditions that continue to impact the job market:
• Mass exodus of baby boomers: Labor force participation for people over 55 remains well below pre-pandemic levels. According to the Pew Research Center, some 2 million baby boomers retire each year. In 2020, this number appears to have grown to a historic high: over 3 million decided to end their careers. Their accelerated departure from the labor force with decades of experience is hard to replace and most have not been returning to the workplace after leaving.
• Lowest birth rates in U.S. history: The national birth rate, already in decline, hit a 35-year low in 2019, and the relative size of the working-age population has been shrinking since 2008. While boomers were born into families with an average of four children each, boomers had an average of just 1.8 children. Thus, as they leave the workforce, there simply aren’t enough workers to replace them.
• Shortfall of 20-somethings: The Wall Street Journal reports a shortfall of about half a million workers in their early 20s compared to 2019 levels. Movements like ‘work your wage’ and ‘quiet quitting’ are a popular mind-set of young workers, according to the Journal. The number of workers quitting their jobs also remains elevated. While caretaking is reported as the main reason for this age group staying out of the job market, other reasons include choosing to further their education, workplace health concerns, and waiting for the right opportunity to come along in a tight market. This group represents the future of the labor force and presents even more significant challenges to recruiting efforts.
Looking for a New Career? Here’s Help!
CareerSource offers virtual and in-person job fairs, classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting – at no cost! During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 45,000 residents find employment/reemployment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $700 million in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $14.7 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time. More information is at www.careersourcepbc.com.
CareerSource also provides services to help rebuild and sustain businesses in today’s challenging marketplace. CareerSource absorbs the cost of most of these services including recruitment, assessments, and referrals of qualified job candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; and grants for training employees.
Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for Nov. 2022 are scheduled for release on Dec. 16, 2022. The 2022 year-end report is scheduled for release on Jan. 20, 2023.
Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 for scheduling before 3 p.m. today.
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.
IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE STEVENS AMENDMENT:
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 $15,851,406 (revised annually). Unless otherwise stipulated, all statements, news releases, requests for proposals, bid solicitations and other applicable documents are fully funded from federal sources.