PALM BEACH COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE STAYS AT 12-YEAR LOW OF 3.1 PERCENT

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2018) – Palm Beach County job seekers have many reasons to be thankful 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 remains at a 12-year low of 3.1 percent – down from 3.8 percent a year ago.
  • Palm Beach County gained 16,100 jobs over the year – a 2.6 percent increase – and there were 19,241 job openings in the county in October.
  • Annual personal income per capita increased by 4.4 percent to $74,454 in Palm Beach County, according to a U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis report released yesterday.
  • Palm Beach County ranked 6th among the nation’s largest counties for attracting and developing skilled workers, according to the latest national annual report by Economic Modeling Systems International.

“Job seekers have much to be thankful for in today’s market – it’s the best time in a dozen years to look for your first 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’s unemployment rate for October also fell below the 3.5 percent national rate, continuing a 21-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate. Florida’s rate is 3.0 percent.

Over the past 12 months, the county’s unemployment rate ranged between 3.1 and 4.0 percent, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. October’s rate is about one-quarter of what it was at the 11.6 percent peak unemployment rate of the Great Recession in summer 2010.

Wages and salaries are growing along with the strong job market, as reflected in a U.S. Bureau of Economic analysis report released yesterday. Wages and salaries are a major component in the bureau’s latest measure of annual personal income per capita, which increased by 4.4 percent to $74,454 in the county, edging the top growth rate of 4.5 percent for all U.S. metropolitan areas.

Palm Beach County also ranked 6th among the nation’s largest counties for attracting and developing skilled workers, according to the third annual national Talent Attraction Scorecard released by Economic Modeling Systems International (Emsi). Counties are ranked using Emsi’s Talent Attraction Index based on drawing new residents, growing jobs and skilled workers, attracting young talent, and increasing educational attainment.

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in October were led by the construction industry with 9.4 percent over-the-year job growth, above 8.2 percent statewide. The construction sector added jobs for 21 consecutive months, and had a higher percentage of monthly job growth over the state average during the same period.

The number of jobs in six sectors – construction, financial activities, leisure/hospitality, manufacturing, professional/business services, and information – grew faster than statewide over the year.

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

Industry                                                               Change from previous month

Leisure/hospitality                                          +7,200 jobs

Financial activities                                            +3,700 jobs

Construction                                                      +3,500 jobs

Professional/business services                  +2,800 jobs

Manufacturing                                                   +1,600 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                    +1,500 jobs

Information                                                        +200 jobs

Government                                                      -3,200 jobs

Education/health services                            -700 jobs

Other services                                                   -500 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 19,241 advertisements for 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. Accountants
  5. Customer service representatives
  6. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
  7. Web developers
  8. Security guards

Hiring NOW for construction and hospitality jobs:  CareerSource Palm Beach County is working with Discover the Palm Beaches to fill hundreds of rewarding jobs in construction/building trades and hospitality. More than 1,800 workers are needed now to help build 12 new hotels in Palm Beach County during the next two years. As these hotels become operational, they are expected to provide 1,266 new hospitality jobs in the county. CareerSource is connecting residents with employers and training providers for residents to get started on high-demand jobs in these industries. More information is available at www.careersourcepbc.com.

Tourism and hotel occupancy levels are setting records, and the leisure/hospitality sector had the second fastest annual job growth rate compared to all metro areas in the state with an 8.6 percent increase in new jobs from October 2017 to October 2018 in the county, a total of 91,100 jobs.

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 Nov. 2018 are scheduled for release on Dec. 21.

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