Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.1 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for 7 Consecutive Months

West Palm Beach, Fla. (June 21, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for May dropped to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent a year ago. In addition, for seven consecutive months, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 30,559 job openings in the county in May vs. 22,591 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).

West Palm Beach, Fla. (June 21, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for May dropped to 3.1 percent from 3.3 percent a year ago.  In addition, for seven consecutive months, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 30,559 job openings in the county in May vs. 22,591 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).

May 2019 is the seventh 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 May also matched the state rate and fell below the 3.4 percent national rate, continuing a 28-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate.

“Palm Beach County gained 14,800 jobs over the year and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for 20 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. “At the same time, the county’s labor force continues to grow, adding nearly 7,867 people in May.”

While the county’s unemployment rate remains among the lowest in nearly 30 years, wages and salaries haven’t been keeping pace with Florida and the nation, as shown in the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics quarterly report on employment and wages. Average weekly wages increased by 2.8 percent in the county, below 3.1 percent for the state and 3.2 percent for the nation in fourth quarter 2018.

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in May were led by the manufacturing sector with 5.0 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a 3.4 percent statewide.

The number of jobs in seven sectors – manufacturing, construction, leisure and hospitality, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, 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

Leisure/hospitality                                            +4,400 jobs

Professional/business services                          +3,700 jobs

Education/health services                                  +3,400 jobs

Construction                                                      +1,800 jobs

Financial activities                                            +1,600 jobs

Government                                                      +1,000 jobs

Manufacturing                                                  +1,000 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                             -400 jobs

Information                                                        -700 jobs

Other services                                                   -1,000 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 30,559 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in May. 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. Software developers
  8. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

Application deadline June 23 for Summer Hospitality Paid Work Readiness Program for Young Adults:

June 23 is the deadline to submit applications for CareerSource Palm Beach County’s 5-week paid summer hospitality work readiness program for young adults.

To apply for the paid summer youth program, applicants must be:

  • Between 17 and 24 years old
  • Not employed
  • Not enrolled in school (high school or college)

Participants can attain nationally recognized hospitality career credentials at the Central Career Center in West Palm Beach. The program starts July 8. Applications and details are available online at https://www.careersourcepbc.com/job-seekers/young-adult-program. If you need assistance with your application or would like more information, call 561-340-1060 ext. 2361.

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 wages. CareerSource also awarded $13 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 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 June 2019 are scheduled for release on July 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.