West Palm Beach, Fla. (Sept. 18, 2020) – Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August fell to 8.0 percent from 11.6 percent in July, marking a significant improvement in the county’s employment picture. The county’s rate also fell below the 8.5 percent national rate. Florida’s rate was 7.7 percent, 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).

Other measures of improvement include:

  • Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County increased to 580,200 in August from 570,800 in July.
  • There are 4,274 job openings in Palm Beach County compared to 3,563 a month ago.
  • Labor force in the county increased to 698,876 in August from 689,319 in July. This measure indicates that there are more people working and looking for work compared to last month.
  • The county’s unemployment rate continued to stay below other major markets, including Miami-Dade County, Broward County and the Greater Orlando area. These areas with large numbers of theme parks, cruise ships and international flight traffic continue to be the hardest hit.
  • New state jobless assistance claims continue to decline.

 “The unemployment rate’s return to the single digits, Phase 2 reopenings and an uptick in hiring for the tourist season suggest that recovery is gaining some traction,” said Julia Dattolo, Interim President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Here’s an overview of the top five key industry sectors in Palm Beach County:

Professional and business services

  • Employment: 107,300
  • Jobs gained July to August: +1,600
  • Jobs lost over year: -10,700


  • Employment: 106,900
  • Jobs gained July to August: +400
  • Jobs lost over year: -7,600

 Education and health services

  • Employment: 97,600
  • Jobs lost July to August: -800
  • Jobs lost over year: -7,800

 Leisure and hospitality

  • Employment: 64,100
  • Jobs gained July to August: +1,600
  • Jobs lost over year: -22,000


  • Employment: 63,500
  • Jobs gained July to August: +5,300
  • Jobs lost over year: -2,900

 The county’s year-ago rate for August was 3.6 percent and the total number of jobs in the county dropped by 56,000 compared to a year ago. Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate was 14.2 percent in April 2020 and had reached nearly 12 percent during the so-called Great Recession in summer 2010.

Retail, Hospitality & Tourism Job Fair Sept. 23: CareerSource Palm Beach County has scheduled the second of two hiring events on Sept. 23 to help retail/leisure/hospitality employers staff now and for the winter tourist season. CareerSource Palm Beach County, Broward and Research Coast are teaming up to bring together some of South Florida’s top employers to attract the best talent at a time when our region needs it the most. The tri-county virtual hiring event will be held from 9 am to 1 pm. There is no cost to participate. For more information and to register, click on this link:

CareerSource has held five virtual hiring events this year to help connect hundreds of job seekers with more than 100 area employers.

CareerSource Helping Job Seekers at Delray Beach Library:  In-person services for job seekers are now available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to 4 pm at the Delray Beach Public Library, 100 West Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach. CareerSource staff will be at the library during these times for services such as navigating the Employ Florida online state job database, resume preparation, conducting a job search/interview, reemployment assistance and more. Computers also are available for job seekers to use at no cost.

 “The library expands in-person services for job seekers in the south county area and augments our career centers in West Palm Beach and Belle Glade,” Ms. Dattolo said.

Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for Sept. are scheduled for release on Oct. 16.

During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted more than 71,500 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.4 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $12.2 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time.