Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to Record Low 2.8 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for 13 Consecutive Months

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 20, 2019) – Palm Beach County job seekers have many reasons to be jolly this holiday season, 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):

  • The county’s unemployment rate for November dropped to a record low 2.8 percent from 3.3 percent a year ago, and below October’s 3.0 percent rate. The previous low was in April 2019 at 2.9 percent.
  • For 13 consecutive months, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 32,331 job openings in the county in November vs. 20,828 unemployed people.
  • Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate remains below the 3.3 percent national rate, continuing a 34-month streak in which the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate. Florida’s rate is 2.7 percent.

“The job market is as bright as the holiday season, and, barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect it to remain strong and steady throughout 2020,” 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.  “There’s more good cheer – there are 11,503 more job openings in the county than job seekers, and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for more than two years running.”

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in November were led by the government sector with 4.8 percent over-the-year job growth, besting the 1.5 percent statewide gain in that sector. Palm Beach County also had the fastest annual job growth rate in the state in the government sector.

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

Industry                                                               Change

Government                                                      +3,200 jobs

Professional/business services                   +1,900 jobs

Construction                                                      +1,600 jobs

Financial activities                                            +1,300 jobs

Education/health services                            +900 jobs

Manufacturing                                                  +300 jobs

Information                                                        -600 jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                           -1,200 jobs

Other services                                                   -1,400 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                    -1,800 jobs

Top 8 most advertised jobs available: The Conference Board produces a monthly report of real-time labor demand captured through job advertisements. Palm Beach County accounts for 11.4 percent of all advertised job openings in Florida. The latest report shows that there were advertisements for 32,331 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in November. 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. Critical care nurses
  5. Customer service representatives
  6. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers
  7. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
  8. Software developers

December best time for job searches: Don’t curtail your job search during the holiday season – it’s one of the best times to find a new job or advance to a better one!

“Employers and recruiters are scrambling to fill openings before 2019 budgets close as well as for new positions funded by annual budgets starting in January. Candidates responding promptly to new job openings and calls for job interviews have a much greater chance of landing a position than those who cut back or stop their search activities,” said Mr. Craig.

Consider temporary and seasonal jobs for income while looking for permanent employment. Local hospitality/tourism, health care, retail and shipping/delivery jobs are among the most in-demand opportunities this time of year.

Minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1:  Florida’s minimum wage increases from $8.46 per hour to $8.56 per hour. The minimum wage to tipped employees increases from $5.44 per hour to $5.54 per hour in addition to tips. The minimum wage is recalculated annually on Sept. 30 based on the Consumer Price Index.

Holiday closings: Our facilities will be closed Tues. Dec. 24 and Wed. Dec. 25 for Christmas, and Tues. Dec. 31 and Wed. Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

Looking for a new career in the New Year? CareerSource offers classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting – at no cost to you! 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 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 year-end 2019 are scheduled for release on Jan. 24, 2020.

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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. 2229 before 3:00 p.m. today for scheduling.