Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Stable at 6.1 Percent -- Below State, National Rates for Third Consecutive Month

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2020) – There’s encouraging news for Palm Beach County job seekers 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 November is 6.1 percent, nearly the same as October’s 6.0 percent. The county’s rate also fell below the 6.4 percent national rate and Florida’s 6.3 percent rate for the third consecutive month.
  • Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County increased to 601,300 in November from 597,500 in October.
  • More than half of the jobs in the county have been recovered since March/April 2020.
  • There are 2,644 job openings in Palm Beach County compared to less than 400 in April.
  • The county’s unemployment rate continued to stay below other major 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 continue to be the hardest hit.

“Don’t curtail your job search this holiday season – this is the best time in many months to find a new job or advance to a better one,” 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. “Employers and recruiters are looking to fill openings before 2020 budgets close as well as for new positions funded by annual budgets starting in January. Candidates responding promptly to new job openings and calls for job interviews have a much greater chance of landing a position than those who cut back or stop their search.” 

Also consider temporary and seasonal jobs for income while looking for permanent employment. Local hospitality/tourism, health care and shipping/delivery jobs are among the most in-demand opportunities this time of year.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector had the most job gains -- +2,900 jobs -- among the top five key industry sectors in Palm Beach County:


  • Employment: 110,800
  • Jobs gained Oct. to Nov.: +1,500
  • Jobs lost over year: -5,600

Professional and business services

  • Employment: 110,400 
  • Jobs lost Oct. to Nov.: -200
  • Jobs lost over year: -4,400

Education and health services

  • Employment: 99,600
  • Jobs lost Oct. to Nov.: -800
  • Jobs lost over year: -7,400

Leisure and hospitality

  • Employment: 73,200 
  • Jobs gained Oct. to Nov.: +2,900
  • Jobs lost over year: -17,800


  • Employment: 63,900 
  • Jobs lost Oct. to Nov.: -400
  • Jobs lost over year: -3,700

Jobs in the Construction sector grew faster in Palm Beach County than statewide over the year at +0.5 percent. The county’s year-ago rate for November was 2.9 percent and the total number of jobs in the county dropped by 43,600 compared to a year ago. Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate was 14.2 percent in April 2020 and had reached nearly 12 percent during the so-called Great Recession in summer 2010.  

Minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1:  Florida’s minimum wage increases from $8.56 per hour to $8.65 per hour. The minimum wage to tipped employees increases from $5.54 per hour to $5.63 per hour in addition to tips. The minimum wage is recalculated annually on Sept. 30 based on the Consumer Price Index. 

Holiday closings: Our facilities will be closed Thurs. Dec. 24 and Fri. Dec. 25 for Christmas, and Thurs. Dec. 31 and Fri. Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

Virtual Job Fairs scheduled for 2021: CareerSource Palm Beach County has scheduled the following virtual job fairs for the first half of 2021: 

  • January -- Professional/Business Services job fair 
  • February – Aviation/Marine/Engineering/Environmental/Architecture
  • March – Healthcare/Life Sciences/Pharmaceutical/Medical
  • April – Technology/Telecom
  • May – Advanced Manufacturing
  • June – Protective Services/Security

More information about these events will be available next month on  CareerSource has held nine virtual hiring events this year to help connect hundreds of job seekers with more than 200 area employers. Looking for a new career in the New Year? CareerSource offers classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting – at no cost to you! 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

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 Dec. and full year 2020 are scheduled for release on Jan. 22.