West Palm Beach, Fla. (March 23, 2018) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for February dropped to 3.7 percent from 4.3 percent a year ago and below January’s 4.0 percent. The county’s rate was lower than the state’s 3.8 percent and the nation’s 4.4 percent rates (all numbers not seasonally adjusted), according to reports released today from CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate has stayed below the state rate for the past 12 consecutive months and below the national rate for 13 consecutive months.
“For the past five consecutive months, the county’s unemployment rate has fallen below or matched 4 percent, a healthy indicator of what many economists consider to be a measure of full employment. Palm Beach County gained 3,300 jobs over the year and there were more than 20,000 available advertised jobs in February,” 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.
Over the past 12 months, the county’s unemployment rate ranged between 3.5 and 4.7 percent, 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 February were led by the construction industry with 8.5 percent over-the-year job growth, above 6.6 percent statewide. The construction sector added jobs in every month of 2017 to date, and had a higher percentage of monthly job growth over the state average during the same period.
The number of jobs in two sectors – construction, and leisure/hospitality – 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
Construction +3,000 jobs
Leisure/hospitality +1,900 jobs
Professional/business services +1,200 jobs
Financial activities +900 jobs
Manufacturing +400 jobs
Government -100 jobs
Other services -200 jobs
Trade/transportation/utilities -300 jobs
Information -800 jobs
Education/health services -2,700 jobs
Top 8 most advertised jobs available in Palm Beach County: The Conference Board produces a monthly report of advertised jobs by position throughout Florida. This report shows that there were 20,043 advertisements for full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in February. The top 8 most help-wanted ads in the county last month were for:
- Registered nurses
- Retail salespeople
- First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
- Customer service representatives
- First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers
- First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
- Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
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 118,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $2.2 billion in annual average wages. CareerSource also has awarded nearly $15 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: CareerSource is committed to help provide Palm Beach County residents with the opportunity to get a great job and build a career. The 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 for career seekers. Schedules of workshops and employer hiring events are posted at www.careersourcepbc.com.
Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for March 2018 are scheduled for release on April 20.