Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.8 Percent; Remains Below State and National Rates for Nearly a Year

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Aug. 20, 2021) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for July announced today is 4.8 percent -- below both the 5.7 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.1 percent rate for 11 consecutive months, 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). July’s rate also dropped 6.7 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 11.5 percent.

Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 616,300, adding 32,400 jobs over the year. The county’s labor force also increased over the year to 757,191 up 40,211 or 5.6 percent from July 2020, which means more people are working or looking for work.

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.

Other improvements include:

- 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 Business Development Board of Palm Beach County (BDB) recently announced the growth of 21 companies that have created 2,219 jobs. These relocations and expansions are expected to occupy or construct a total of 734,419 sq. ft. of commercial or industrial space and bring $115.6 million in capital investment. The BDB added that they expect about 1,000 more jobs to be announced by October 1, 2021, the end of its fiscal year. 

“As we approach Labor Day, the job market remains strong with Palm Beach County continuing to outperform the state and nation for nearly a 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 July were led by the leisure/hospitality sector with 18.3 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a statewide gain of 16.5 percent in that sector. Jobs in the leisure/hospitality, education/health services, information, professional/business services, 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                                +12,400 jobs                80,000             

Professional/business services               +6,900 jobs                  120,400

Education/health services                     +5,800 jobs                   105,100

Trade/transportation/utilities                 +4,100 jobs                   112,900

Other services                                      +1,700 jobs                   30,800

Financial activities                                +1,100 jobs                   44,400

Construction                                        +800 jobs                      38,400

Manufacturing                                     +700 jobs                       19,700

Information                                         + 600 jobs                      9,700

Government                                         -1,700 jobs                   54,700

 

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.

5,000+ Online Learning Courses Available Free to Residents 

CareerSource Palm Beach County last month launched 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. More information is available from the home page at www.careersourcepbc.com – click on “Online Training” to access the program.

CareerSource Palm Beach County Now Helps Job Seekers at Four Public Libraries

Beginning Monday, Aug. 23, the Riviera Beach Library begins a partnership with CareerSource Palm Beach County to provide job seekers access to free resources and services for employment. A CareerSource representative will be available in person at the library, located at 600 West Blue Heron Blvd., 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.

“We’re very pleased to partner with the Riviera Beach Library to offer in-person services for job seekers at this time when residents need these services the most,” said Ms. Dattolo. 

CareerSource Palm Beach County 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  

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 August 2021 are scheduled for release on Sept. 17. 

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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.