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Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9 Percent from 4.0 Percent Year Ago; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for Third Consecutive Month

West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 11, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for January dropped to 3.9 percent from 4.0 percent a year ago. In addition, for the third consecutive month, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,919 job openings in the county in January vs. 28,549 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. (March 11, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for January dropped to 3.9 percent from 4.0 percent a year ago. In addition, for the third consecutive month, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,919 job openings in the county in January vs. 28,549 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).

January 2019 is the third 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 January also matched that for the state and fell below the 4.4 percent national rate, continuing a two-year streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate.

“Our job market remains among the brightest in nearly 30 years – it’s a great time to look for a new job or advance to a better job,” 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. “Palm Beach County gained 13,344 jobs over the year – a 2.3 percent increase – compared to 2.1 percent nationally.”

Over the past 12 months, the county’s unemployment rate ranged between 3.0 and 4.0 percent, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. January’s rate is about one-third of what it was at the 11.6 percent peak unemployment rate of the Great Recession in summer 2010.

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in January were led by the construction sector with 5.3 percent over-the-year job growth, more than the statewide change of 4.7 percent.

The number of jobs in four sectors – construction, manufacturing, leisure/hospitality, and government– grew faster than statewide over the year. There were job gains in all sectors except for other services and information.

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

Industry Change from previous month
Professional/business services +4,200 jobs
Leisure/hospitality +3,500 jobs
Education/health services +2,000 jobs
Construction +1,900 jobs
Financial Activities +1,200 jobs
Government +1,000 jobs
Manufacturing +900 jobs
Trade/Transportation/Utilities +600 jobs
Other services -600 jobs
Information -300 jobs

Top 8 most advertised jobs available: The Conference Board produces a monthly report of real-time labor demand captured through online job advertisements. The latest report shows that there were advertisements for 28,134 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in January. 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. Accountants
  7. Software developers
  8. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Professional Placement Network kicks off: CareerSource Palm Beach County has opened a new Professional Placement Network (PPN) at its Central Career Center, 3400 Belvedere Road, in West Palm Beach to better serve professionals. The PPN provides specialized services for professionals who have been displaced, in career transition, or are looking for new career growth opportunities. The program is designed to assist individuals holding a 4-year degree and $47,000 minimum salary in their most recent position. Classes are held from 9 a.m. to noon over 3 consecutive days each month. The initial classes, held in January and February, had 30 graduates from various industries such as information technology, business development, sales, youth services, marine biology, property management and construction. Subsequent classes are scheduled for:

  • March 19-21, 2019
  • April 22-24, 2019
  • May 21-23, 2019

There is no cost to participants, but you must register in advance to attend at: https://www.careersourcepbc.com/job-seekers/professional-placement-network.

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 Feb. 2019 are scheduled for release on March 22. At the beginning of each year, there is a lag in reporting Jan. and Feb. employment data as the government recalibrates historical data factoring in new population inputs and revisions to economic data, creating changes in the original statistics.

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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.