Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for Second Consecutive Month

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Sept. 17, 2021) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August announced today is 4.7 percent -- below both the 5.3 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.0 percent rate for a full year, 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). August’s rate also dropped 3.4 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 8.1 percent.

Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 623,900, adding 36,100 jobs over the year – a 6.1 percent gain compared to Florida’s 4.9 percent gain. 

Other improvements include:

  • For the second consecutive month, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County – 37,267 job openings vs. 35,320 unemployed people in August. Same case for the state – 529,000 job openings vs. 520,326 unemployed people.
  • 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.
  • For the fifth consecutive month, the leisure/hospitality industry sector led the county in over-the-year job growth. Discover the Palm Beaches reported that both July and August 2021 tourism numbers were in line with 2019, a record year for visitation. Hiring traditionally begins picking up for the busy winter season and the outlook for Palm Beach County is bright. According to the industry research firm Destination Analysts, 80 percent of American travelers currently have trip plans and beaches/resorts are the number one destination.

“Before the pandemic, summer was traditionally our slow season for employment. Our job market is scorching -- with Palm Beach County continuing to outperform the state and nation for an entire 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: On a percentage basis, job gains in August were led by the leisure/hospitality sector with 21.3 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a statewide gain of 16.3 percent in that sector. Jobs in the leisure/hospitality, education/health services, government, manufacturing, construction, and 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                                +14,200 jobs                80,800             

Education/health services                     +7,000 jobs                  107,200

Professional/business services              +4,600 jobs                  120,600

Trade/transportation/utilities                 +3,400 jobs                  112,800

Government                                        +2,100 jobs                  59,000

Other services                                     +1,800 jobs                  30,700

Construction                                        +1,200 jobs                  39,000

Manufacturing                                      +700 jobs                     19,900

Financial activities                                +600 jobs                     43,900

Information                                          +500 jobs                     9,800

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.

Job Fairs Coming Up!

Sept. 23: North County virtual job fair with a variety of businesses and industries in the north county area, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oct. 14: Project Impact job fair at the Boynton Beach Arts and Cultural Center; 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Oct. 19: Community in-person job fair at the Riviera Beach Marina Center

Oct. 29: In-person job fair at Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus focused on the manufacturing industry, veterans’ priority 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; public 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information on these events is at www.careersourcepbc.com.

CareerSource Helps Job Seekers at Five Public Libraries

The Riviera Beach Public Library has partnered with CareerSource Palm Beach County to provide job seekers access to free resources and services for employment. A CareerSource representative is available in person at the library, located at 2129 N. Congress Ave., each Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to assist with employment, re-employment, resume assistance, filing for unemployment and career path assistance. The representative is fluent in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. To learn more, call the library at (561) 845-4195 or www.rivierabeach.org/government/library

CareerSource offers similar in-person services for job seekers at:

  • Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, 411 Clematis St., (561) 868-7700
  • Boynton Beach City Library, 100 East Ocean Ave., (561) 742-6390
  • Delray Beach Public Library, 100 West Atlantic Ave., (561) 266-0194  
  • Summit Branch Library, 3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, (561) 233-2600

Contact the libraries for more information on scheduled dates and times when a CareerSource representative is available at those locations.

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 60,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.2 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $10.1 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 Sept. 2021 are scheduled for release on Oct. 22. 

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Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends before 2:00 p.m. today. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 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.