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Business Solutions 3rd Quarter 2022

CEO Message 3rd Quarter 2022 Business Solutions

Robust Job Market is Something to Celebrate This Labor Day!

Labor Day 2020? One to forget!

Employment and the economy struggled due to the COVID pandemic. Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate was 7.0 percent with some 50,000 unemployed.

Fast forward to Labor Day 2022.

Our county’s employment and economic outlook is stronger, better, and more encouraging than ever.

Our unemployment rate is near historic lows at 2.9 percent – less than half of what it was two years ago. Nearly 29,000 jobs were added over the year. There are almost two jobs available for every unemployed person. Palm Beach County gained more than the number of jobs that were lost during the pandemic in Dec. 2021 – well ahead of Florida and the nation!

More good news -- the Business Development Board released a mid-year economic development report announcing year-to-date activity since Oct. 2021. It reported that 21 new corporate relocations and expansions will create 1,352 jobs, occupy 695,532 sq. feet of space, and bring nearly $90 million in capital investment. 14 of those are new-to-market companies from out of state.

New industry data show Palm Beach County is home to:

•          463 corporate, subsidiary & regional offices

•          2,897 financial services and hedge funds

•          1,628 aviation / aerospace / engineering companies

•          2,189 infotech companies

•          5,496 healthcare companies

•          682 distribution & logistics centers

•          1,424 manufacturing companies

Our staff is busier than ever assisting employers in all industry sectors who are finding it very challenging to hire the talent they need.

Looking to hire this Labor Day? You can meet, interview, screen and hire qualified candidates on the spot at any or all of our upcoming in-person and virtual hiring events at no cost! We appreciate the opportunity to serve you with your hiring needs. From our homepage at www.careersourcepbc.com go to “For Employers” for more information.

Our hope for this Labor Day is to provide that first -- or next – step for someone to land a new job or a better one, perhaps at your organization. What better way to follow Labor Day than with a new job and new hire to celebrate!


Your Regional Economic Outlook

The July unemployment rate for Palm Beach County is now 2.9%, which was above the state rate at 2.8% and lower than the nation at 3.8% (all numbers not seasonally adjusted). This is a positive local job recovery with 40,070 open jobs, compared to 22,320 unemployed residents.

With local job openings in July at over 40K, and not enough job seekers to fill them (reported at 22K in July), economists say that even more money and flexibility will not stop record turnover of the currently employed for better opportunities.

The local labor force was over 767K in July, total nonagricultural employment in the county is 661,100 adding 28,800 jobs over the year, a 4.3% gain. The biggest July local employment increases over the year were in the Leisure/hospitality sector (+9,200) and Trade/transportation/utilities (5,200) compared to July of 2021.

Florida surpasses nation in economic growth – The “Sunshine State” has outpaced the United States and contributed more than $23 billion to Florida’s economy, according to a report from the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).

DFS reported that in the second quarter of 2020, the United States experienced 5.4% in gross domestic product growth, while Florida had a rate of 6.3%.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis says, “much of Florida’s wage growth is driven by people leaving their home states to move to Florida.”

Migration to Florida contributed $23.7 billion to Florida’s adjusted gross income from 2019 to 2020. The DFS report also states the total income of families moving to Florida is over $120,000 on average.

Will inflation suppress economic growth – As warned, the latest inflation report was more of the same, with Consumer Price Index (CPI) rising to a 9.1 % annual rate in June, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending November 1981. The increase was broad-based, with fuel, shelter, and food being the largest contributors. The energy index rose 7.5 % over the month and contributed nearly half of all items increasing, with the gasoline index rising 11.2 % and the other major component indexes also rising. The food index rose 1.0 % in June, as did the food at home index (see chart below).

The administration agrees that inflation at a 41-year high remains its top concern, and the Federal Reserve Bank (FED) will need to continue raising interest rates, thereby increasing the chance of recession. But there seems to be more optimism about a “soft landing,” which UBS Global Wealth Management now puts as the most likely scenario (40%), rather than recession or stagflation. Citi pegs the chances of a soft landing at 55%.

Certainly, not all economists agree, but the relative strength of the U.S. economy compared with Europe facing extreme natural gas shortages, should not be discounted. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contraction (negative growth) in the last quarter is balanced out with a very tight labor market, many open jobs and stable income. U.S. consumer demand has moved from goods to services, not constrained yet by supply.

Most domestic inflation can be traced directly back to a lack of ample supply while demand increased, but there are signs that by late 2023 we would see relief. One reason for that hope: Freight shipping costs and delays are getting better, gradually. The average cost of moving a standard shipping container from China to the West Coast of the U.S. is down by half from its peak during the pandemic (though it remains triple its pre-COVID norm). Shipping times on that route now average 44 days, down from a peak of 79 earlier.

The outlook is also getting better for freight shipped by air now that more people are traveling internationally. During the worst of the pandemic, when international travel was way down, shippers depended heavily on the fleet of dedicated planes that just haul freight, which sent rates through the roof.

Still, we really do not expect freight shipments to go back to “normal” anytime soon, even though congestion at West Coast ports is down, it’s still bad on the East Coast. And goods are stacking up at railroad terminals in the Midwest, as overstocked retailers are slow to pick up more containers because their own stores and warehouses are full. Working through those rail backups will take time. And even though more planes are flying, jet fuel remains extremely expensive, while airlines and airports cope with a shortage of pilots and other workers.

Thus, while the cost of moving goods from the factory to the store shelf should ease a bit, it will not fall enough to put a dent in overall inflation this year.

 


Improving Employment and Economic Development in the Glades Communities

CareerSource Palm Beach County’s West Career Center in Belle Glade provides critical services to employers and job seekers in the Glades communities. During the past five program years, CareerSource has helped place nearly 6,500 residents in jobs with salaries from these creating $120 million in annual wages. Also during this time, CareerSource has provided $1.6 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance. 

Recent efforts include joining U.S. Sugar, Finfrock, Okeelanta, the cities of South Bay and Belle Glade, the Palm Beach County School District and about 20 other employers in the city of Pahokee’s job fair. The starting minimum starting wage rate per job was $14.00 per hour.

A major milestone was also reached with an event to celebrate the walls rising at Finfrock’s new 140,000-sq.-ft. precast concrete manufacturing facility in Belle Glade that will bring 200 jobs to the area and more than $242 million in economic stimulus. Finfrock, the only vertically integrated design builder and manufacturer of its kind in the industry, expects the new facility will help better serve their clients in southeast and southwest Florida. Up to 50 new hires are expected with phase two of the project.

“The best part of this project is that the employees that have joined us since we came into the Glades community have been working on making the pieces to build the building where they will build their careers with Finfrock,” said CEO Allen Finfrock.

“These are great examples of how CareerSource works in partnership with area business and community leaders, educational partners, and other key stakeholders in combined efforts to increase employment and economic opportunity in the Glades communities,” said CareerSource Associate Vice President Charles Duval.


Business Migration to Palm Beach County Reaching Historic Levels

Did you know Palm Beach County is #1 in Florida for growth by income & population according to Unacast? Not only that -- companies are relocating/expanding here in considerable numbers spurred on by the pandemic, climate and the high cost of doing business in other states.

The financial services industry continues to see the most growth in the county. The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County has attracted 96 financial firms creating “Wall Street South.”

CareerSource Palm Beach County President and CEO Julia Dattolo participated in a BDB press conference announcing the most recent six companies coming here:

  • MyBambu, a financial technology company previously based in Tennessee with banking connections to 18 Latin American countries. More than 90% of the  company’s customers are Hispanic. The company’s expansion will create 82 new jobs with an average salary of $68,250.
  • UOVO, an art logistics company expanding here with 15 new jobs. The company, billed as New York’s top collections storage company, built a new 50,000 square foot site in West Palm Beach.
  • Renco USA, a company that manufactures and distributes molded structural composites for construction. The company is establishing its headquarters at a 50,000 square foot building in Jupiter and adding 100 new jobs.
  • Procaps Group, a pharmaceutical developer, manufacturer and marketer from Latin America. The company will operate out of an 86,000-square-foot facility in Riviera Beach and will create 200 more jobs.
  • Percepto, an autonomous inspection and monitoring solution provider from Israel that boasts customers such as Florida Power & Light and Verizon. The company will use an 11,000 square foot building in Riviera Beach and is expected to add 100 high-paying jobs.
  • Electriq Power, Inc., a leading provider of intelligent and integrated home energy storage, management, and monitoring solutions. The firm will open a new 7,500 sq. ft. corporate headquarters in West Palm Beach to grow to 40 employees over the next few years.

Between them, the six companies are expected to create some 500 new jobs and further diversify the county’s economic base.

“Overall, Palm Beach County’s economy and its job market have performed better than the state and nation since the pandemic began in March 2020,” Ms. Dattolo said.


CareerSource Palm Beach County Featured in BDB's Quarterly Magazine

The Business Development Board's Palm Beach County Business magazine is recognized as the quarterly business portrait showcasing local influencers and news in the county. Each quarter CareerSource Palm Beach County participates and this issue focuses on how CareerSource Palm Beach County helped Torrance Oats, Jr. secure funding to attend EMT school and how Toscha Otero benefited from our Career Seeker Services. View the digital version by following the link.

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Visiting Our Career Centers

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Central Career Center
3400 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33406
561.340.1060

West Career Center 
1085 S Main St
Belle Glade, FL 33430
561.829.2040