Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate 5.3 Percent; Remains Below State and National Rates for 10 Consecutive Months

West Palm Beach, Fla. (July 16, 2021) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for June announced today is 5.3 percent -- below both the 6.1 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.7 percent rate for the tenth consecutive month, 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). June’s rate also dropped 6.2 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 11.5 percent.

Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 614,400, adding 30,200 jobs over the year. The county’s labor force also increased over the year to 753,074, up 46,677 or 6.6 percent from June 2020, which means more people are working or looking for work. 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.

Other improvements include:

  • According to the Institute for Economic Forecasting, personal income in the West Palm Beach – Boca Raton Metropolitan Division is expected to grow an average of 3.7 percent annually through 2024. The average real per capita income level of $72,000 is third highest in the state. Average annual wage growth is predicted to be 3.0 percent with an average annual wage level of $69,300 – the highest of 25 metro areas studied.
  • For more than a year, the county’s unemployment rate stayed below other major state markets, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and the Greater Orlando area. These areas with large numbers of theme parks, cruise ships, and international flight traffic have taken the longest time to recover.
  • The pandemic has boosted a growing year-round presence with more than 90 financial firms renting office space here in recent months. The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) continues to facilitate corporate relocations to, and expansions in, the county with hundreds of jobs in the pipeline.   

“For the third consecutive month, there are over-the-year job gains in all but one industry sector,” 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. “It’s as if our traditionally busy season started six months early. Employers in all sectors are reporting that they are challenged in hiring the talent they need even though several are offering salary and benefits incentives, hiring bonuses and even payments for job interviews.”

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in June were led by the leisure/hospitality sector with 17.1 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a statewide gain of 16.9 percent in that sector. Jobs in the leisure/hospitality, education/health services, information, trade/transportation/utilities, and manufacturing industries grew faster in the county than statewide over the year.

By the numbers, over-the-year job gains/losses in Palm Beach County were:

Industry                                               Change                         Total jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                +11,700 jobs                88,000             

Education/health services                     +5,600 jobs                  105,400

Professional/business services              +5,100 jobs                  117,900

Trade/transportation/utilities               +4,500 jobs                  112,900

Financial activities                                +1,600 jobs                  44,300

Other services                                      +1,500 jobs                  30,900

Manufacturing                                      +800 jobs                     20,100

Construction                                        +600 jobs                     38,000

Information                                          +500 jobs                     9,600

Government                                         -1,700 jobs                   55,100

Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent in April 2020.  The record-low unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in Dec. 2019.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation Payments End

Florida ended its participation in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, the $300 per week supplemental FPUC payment, effective June 26, 2021, as part of Florida Dept. of Economic Opportunity’s (DEO) ‘Return to Work’ initiative. 

In addition, the DEO’s waiver for work search and registration requirements to obtain jobless benefits expired on May 29, 2021. Claimants must submit work searches for every week of state or federal benefits requested. Additionally, new claimants must complete the work registration through the online Employ Florida state jobs database.  For a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers regarding the work search and work registration requirements, click here

5,000+ Online Learning Courses Available Free to Residents Beginning July 19

CareerSource Palm Beach County is launching a new online learning system called SkillUp Palm Beach County with Metrix E-Learning Systems, a leading national developer of online learning programs that teaches skills employers are looking for.

“SkillUp Palm Beach County is a great way for people to expand their knowledge and abilities in areas that appeal to employers in the current high-demand job market,” said Ms. Dattolo. 

SkillUp Palm Beach County can help people learn new skills and prepare for national certifications in a number of areas. Participants can work at their own pace 24/7 from a catalog of more than 5,000 courses that teach both technical and soft skills. The catalog includes everything from IT and software lessons, project management and human resources to banking, retail, hospitality, communications and much more – all at no cost.

The pilot program will be available to users for three months beginning July 19. More information is available from the home page at www.careersourcepbc.com – click on “Online Training” to access the program.

CareerSource Palm Beach County Recognized with National Award

The National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) awarded CareerSource Palm Beach County its WIOA (Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) Trailblazer Award on June 26, 2021 at NAWB’s Forum 2021 in Washington, D.C.

CareerSource Palm Beach County was selected out of a large national pool of nominations for the award, which recognizes a workforce development board that has been a leader in implementing progressive and innovative system changes envisioned in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and developing comprehensive workforce solutions for its community. 

“We are incredibly humbled that our achievements have been nationally recognized. It is a distinct honor in achieving this top award among more than 500 workforce boards nationwide, particularly for this past year in responding to challenges from the pandemic,” Ms. Dattolo said.

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 more than 71,500 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.4 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $12.2 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 July 2021 are scheduled for release on Aug. 20. 

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Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends before 3:30 p.m. today. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 for scheduling.