Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.0 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for Full Year

Palm Beach County job seekers have much to be thankful for 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)

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Nov. 15, 2019) – Palm Beach County job seekers have much to be thankful for 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 October dropped to 3.0 percent from 3.4 percent a year ago, and below September’s 3.2 percent rate. October tied for the second lowest rate to the 2.9 percent record low in April 2019.
  • For a full year, there are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 29,411 job openings in the county in October vs. 22,487 unemployed people.
  • Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate remains below the 3.3 percent national rate, continuing a 33-month streak in which the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate. Florida’s rate is 2.9 percent.

“Job seekers have much to be thankful for in today’s market – it’s the best time in years to look for your first job or advance to a better one,” 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 12,100 jobs over the year and the county’s unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for two years running.”

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in October were led by the government sectors with 4.9 percent over-the-year job growth, besting the 1.2 percent statewide gain in that sector. Palm Beach County also had the fastest annual job growth rate in the state in the government and financial activities sectors.

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

Industry                                                               Change

Government                                                       +3,200 jobs

Professional/business services                           +2,400 jobs

Education/health services                                  +2,000 jobs

Construction                                                      +1,700 jobs

Financial activities                                            +1,700 jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                            +1,500 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                            +700 jobs

Manufacturing                                                  +300 jobs

Information                                                        -600 jobs

Other services                                                   -800 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 29,411 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in October. 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. Software developers
  7. First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
  8. Accountants

Local Participation for National Apprenticeship Week Nov. 11 - 15: National Apprenticeship Week celebrates the impact apprenticeships have in helping Americans learn skills for jobs in growing industries. CareerSource Palm Beach County supports local and statewide pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs in the high-demand fields of information technology, construction, healthcare and hospitality – and plans to make a major announcement in the new year to expand these offerings in partnership with several notable local employers.

CareerSource Palm Beach County also supports Apprentice Florida, a partnership between the Florida Department of Education, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and CareerSource Florida. The program encourages and assists businesses in establishing apprenticeships, and educates individuals about pursuing careers through apprenticeships.

Paychecks for Patriots Hiring Event:  More than 200 job seekers, including 64 veterans, attended CareerSource Palm Beach County’s Paychecks for Patriots hiring event held Nov. 13 with 36 local and national employers participating. The employers included Amazon, Scripps Florida, Home Depot, Hertz, Hardrives, Palm Tran, Allied Universal, FDOT, Kasper Electric, Manpower, US Census, US Foods, Holiday Inn and more.

CareerSource organizations throughout Florida are partnering with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida National Guard and the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs to connect members of Florida’s military and veteran communities with career opportunities through Paychecks for Patriots hiring events in November. Thousands of military and veteran candidates and their family members who participated in these events across the state have gained employment as a result. Of the more than 1.45 million veterans in Florida, 70,000 are located in Palm Beach County.

“Many area employers actively seek to hire veterans because of the knowledge, skills and attributes they have acquired in a wide variety of specialized fields during their service,” said Steve Craig. “We offer services at no cost that help returning veterans find new employment and transition into civilian careers.”

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 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 Nov. 2019 are scheduled for release on Dec. 20.

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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.