Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to Lowest Since 1990; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for 6 Consecutive Months

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for April dropped to the lowest level in 29 years – 2.9 percent from 3.3 percent a year ago – and below 3.2 percent for March 2019.

West Palm Beach, Fla. (May 17, 2019) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for April dropped to the lowest level in 29 years – 2.9 percent from 3.3 percent a year ago – and below 3.2 percent for March 2019.  In addition, for six consecutive months, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,087 job openings in the county in April vs. 21,099 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).

April 2019 is the sixth 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 April also matched the state rate and fell below the 3.3 percent national rate, continuing a 27-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate.

“This is the lowest unemployment rate since 1990. Palm Beach County gained 17,600 jobs over the year and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for 19 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 6,000 people in April.”

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in April were led by the professional/business services sector with 5.4 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a 3.3 percent increase statewide.

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

Professional/business services                             +6,100 jobs

Education/health services                                    +3,700 jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                               +3,600 jobs

Construction                                                        +1,700 jobs

Financial activities                                              +1,500 jobs

Government                                                        +1,300 jobs

Manufacturing                                                    +1,000 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                              +200 jobs

Information                                                        -400 jobs

Other services                                                    -1,100 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 31,087 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in April. 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 office and administrative support workers
  6. Accountants
  7. Software developers
  8. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

Take advantage of incentives to hire Veterans this Memorial Day: In observing Memorial Day, CareerSource Palm Beach County is urging employers to recognize veterans for their service as well as for their unique skills and qualifications when seeking employee candidates. Of the 1.4 million veterans in Florida, more than 70,000 are located in Palm Beach County. Federal tax incentives and training grants are available to employers for hiring veterans -- employers should contact CareerSource at 561-340-1060, option 3 for more information. Special employment assistance for veterans and their spouses also is provided at the three CareerSource career centers in Palm Beach County, and the organization participates in special employment campaigns such as Paychecks for Patriots and Hiring Our Heroes.

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 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 May 2019 are scheduled for release on June 21.


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.