image

Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.4 Percent from 3.7 Percent Year Ago; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for Fourth Consecutive Month

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for February dropped to 3.4 percent from 3.7 percent a year ago – and below 3.9 percent for Jan. 2019. In addition, for the fourth consecutive month, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,919 job openings in the county in February vs. 25,339 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).

Contacts:

Tom Veenstra, Vice President of Administration | 561.340.1061 ext. 2229

Madison Ciklin, Manager of Website and Communications | 561.340.1061 ext. 2224


West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 22, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for February dropped to 3.4 percent from 3.7 percent a year ago – and below 3.9 percent for Jan. 2019.  In addition, for the fourth consecutive month, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,919 job openings in the county in February vs. 25,339 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).

February 2019 is the fourth time that the number of open jobs exceeded the number of unemployed people in records going back to 2005. Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for February also matched that for the state and fell below the 4.1 percent national rate, continuing a 25-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate.

“Palm Beach County gained 11,300 jobs over the year and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for 17 months,” 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. “The county’s labor force continues to grow, adding nearly 7,000 people in February. This month’s employment report highlights the importance of focusing on workforce investment that builds the skills needed to fill these jobs.”

Accordingly, Governor Ron DeSantis this week announced the distribution of $1.75 million to help Floridians acquire skills needed for in-demand occupations through new apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs. CareerSource Palm Beach is receiving $97,500 of this funding to develop a pre-apprenticeship program in the marine sector in collaboration with the Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County and the Marine Industry Association of Treasure Coast.

“The marine industry in Palm Beach County alone employs more than 20,000 people, and the industry is growing at a rate where there are more vacancies than there are skilled workers to fill them,” said Michael Kennedy, Marine Industries Association of Palm Beach County board chair and president of Ranger Construction Industries. “We are grateful for this opportunity to help our marine industry businesses get the skilled workers they need for everyone to be successful.”

In addition to the marine sector, CareerSource Palm Beach County is prioritizing new and expanded apprenticeships in the high-demand fields of healthcare, construction, aviation, and hospitality.

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in February were led by the manufacturing sector with 4.9 percent over-the-year job growth, 2.2 percent higher than the statewide change of 2.7 percent.

The number of jobs in six sectors – manufacturing, construction, professional/business services, financial activities, leisure/hospitality, and government – grew faster than statewide over the year.

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

INDUSTRY CHANGE FROM PREVIOUS MONTH
Professional//business services +4,400 jobs
Leisure/hospitality +3,000 jobs
Construction +1,600 jobs
Financial activities +1,400 jobs
Manufacturing +1,000 jobs
Government +900 jobs
Trade/transportation/utilities +400 jobs
Education/health services +400 jobs
Information -500 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 31,919 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in February. 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. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers
  6. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
  7. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
  8. Software developers

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 more than 92,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $2.1 billion in annual average wages. CareerSource also has awarded $13 million in grants to area businesses and employees for 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 www.careersourcepbc.com. 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 March 2019 are scheduled for release on April 19.

###

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.