Palm Beach County Adds 18,800 Jobs Over the Year; June Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.3 Percent from 5.0 Percent Year Ago

CareerSource Palm Beach County announced today that the county’s 4.3 percent unemployment rate for June 2017 dropped below the year-ago rate of 5.0 percent. Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate also matched the state and fell below the national rate (4.5 percent), all numbers not seasonally adjusted, according to reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“Even though we are in the traditionally slower summer season, the job market shows no signs of slowing down. The county gained 18,800 new jobs over the year – a strong 3.1 percent increase – and there were 19,564 available advertised jobs in June,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Mr. Craig added that this environment also creates a very competitive labor market for employers, reflected by three statewide statistics:

  • The number of “job leavers” (those who voluntarily leave a job and then seek work) rose to 13.3 percent from 10.4 percent a year ago.
  • The number of “job losers” (those on layoff or termination seeking work) dropped to 45.1 percent from 47.0 percent a year ago.
  • The number of “new entrants” (those entering the job market for the first time seeking work) increased 12.4 percent from 11.2 percent a year ago.

“A decreasing percentage of job losers as compared to the other categories can be interpreted as a sign of an improving economy,” he said.

Palm Beach County’s monthly unemployment rate ranged between 3.9 and 5.3 percent over the past 12 months, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. This compares favorably with state and national levels, and 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 June were led by the construction industry with 9.7 percent over-the-year job growth, higher than 7.1 percent statewide, reflecting a very competitive market for this industry sector. By the numbers, over-the-year job gains in Palm Beach County were in professional/business services (+4,900 jobs); leisure/hospitality (+4,700 jobs); education/health services (+4,100 jobs); construction (+3,300 jobs); government (+1,200 jobs); trade/transportation/utilities (+900 jobs); other services (+900 jobs); and manufacturing (+100 jobs). The number of jobs in five sectors – construction, leisure/hospitality, professional/business services, education/health services, and government – grew faster than statewide over the year. Financial activities (-800 jobs) and information (-500 jobs) lost jobs over the year.

Whatever career you would like to pursue, the staff at CareerSource offers classes and facilities for job search, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting. During the past two program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 45,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $860 million in annual average wages.

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: CareerSource is committed to help provide Palm Beach County residents with the opportunity to get a great job and build a career. On average, 7,500 visitors each month receive help from specialized services at two career centers:

— Central Career Center-3400 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406; (561) 340-1060
— West Career Center-1085  S. Main Street, Belle Glade, FL 33430; (561) 829-2040

The centers offer classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training – all at no cost for career seekers. Schedules of workshops and employer hiring events are posted at

Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for July 2017 are scheduled for release on August 18.