Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Steady at 3.7 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for 10 Consecutive Months

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Sept. 20, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August dropped slightly to 3.7 percent from 3.8 percent a year ago, but up from July’s 3.6 percent. In addition, for 10 consecutive months, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 29,831 job openings in the county in August vs. 27,700 unemployed people, 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).

While Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August is above the state’s 3.5 percent rate, it remains below the 3.8 percent national rate, continuing a 31-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate.

And there’s more good news – wages and salaries in Palm Beach County are up 3.1 percent, besting national wage growth of 2.8 percent, according to the latest quarterly report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

“With the low unemployment rate, more jobs are looking for people to fill them and businesses are having to boost wages to attract and keep employees, particularly as we near the active winter season. Palm Beach County gained more than 13,000 jobs over the year and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for nearly two years,” said Steve Craig, 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 manufacturing sector with 5.5 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a 2.9 percent increase statewide. Palm Beach County also had the fastest job growth rate in the state in the financial activities sector.

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

Industry                                                               Change

Education/health services                                 +3,800 jobs

Professional/business services                         +3,400 jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                           +1,900 jobs

Financial activities                                           +2,100 jobs

Construction                                                      +1,800 jobs

Government                                                      +1,500 jobs

Manufacturing                                                  +1,100 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                             -100 jobs

Information                                                        -1,000 jobs

Other services                                                   -1,300 jobs

Top 8 most advertised jobs available: The Conference Board produces a monthly report of real-time labor demand captured through job advertisements. The latest report shows that there were advertisements for 29,831 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in August. The top 8 most advertised jobs in the county are for:

  1. Registered nurses
  2. Retail salespeople
  3. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
  4. Customer service representatives
  5. Accountants
  6. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers
  7. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
  8. Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks

Governor, CareerSource Recognize Workforce Development Month: CareerSource Palm Beach County joins the 23 other regions in the state in celebrating Workforce Development Month in Florida. Workforce Development Month recognizes all workforce professionals, agencies and organizations who have helped thousands of Floridians find gainful employment and are contributing to Florida’s economic success.  

“Florida remains a state where businesses are encouraged to grow and where meaningful jobs are created,” said Governor DeSantis. “With our Bold Vision for a Brighter Future budget, we are helping to provide Floridians with opportunities to achieve economic prosperity through expanded apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, affordable workforce housing, recovery workforce training grants and the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund.”

“CareerSource Palm Beach County fully supports the Governor’s priorities for Florida’s employment and economic growth, including expanding apprenticeships, growing well-paying careers and strengthening businesses,” said CareerSource Palm Beach County President and CEO Steve Craig.

To view Governor DeSantis’ proclamation for Workforce Development Month, click here.

170 jobs available at Glades Hiring Event: Nearly 300 job seekers turned out to apply for 170 job openings with 20 employers at the Sept. 17 hiring event held in Belle Glade hosted by CareerSource Palm Beach County and Palm Beach State College. Employers included Florida Crystals, The GEO Group, Atio USA, Everglades Farm Products, Tellus Products and the Sugar Cane Cooperative. Because of the critical service needs in the Glades Communities, CareerSource operates the West Career Center in Belle Glade and plays a leading role in collaborative efforts to increase employment and economic development there.

Whatever career you would like to pursue, the staff at CareerSource offers classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting. During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted 80,500 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.85 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $23 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time.  

Services for employers: CareerSource provides a comprehensive package of services to help businesses compete 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. 

Services for career seekers: Our career centers in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Belle Glade offer classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training – all at no cost. Schedules of workshops and employer hiring events are posted at From this same home page, you also will find our mobile-friendly Virtual Career System with online tools and resources to access our programs and services 24/7.

Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for Sept. 2019 are scheduled for release on Oct. 18.


Note to editors: You are invited to interview a CareerSource spokesperson on local employment and economic trends, and/or career seekers at our Central Career Center in West Palm Beach. Please call 561.340.1061 ext. 2224 before 3:00 p.m. today for scheduling.