PALM BEACH COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE LOWEST IN 8 YEARS; FALLS BELOW STATE RATE FOR 25 CONSECUTIVE MONTHS

Published Wednesday, December 16, 2015

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 18, 2015) – CareerSource Palm Beach County has a present for career seekers and employers this holiday season:

  • The county’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in 8 years;
  • More than 25,000 jobs are available in the county, the highest number in 8 years;
  • Palm Beach County gained 12,800 jobs over the year;
  • Average weekly wages are rising and the increase is slightly higher compared to the nation.

The county’s 4.6 percent unemployment rate for Nov. 2015, announced today, remains below the state rate for 25 consecutive months -- and down 0.6 percentage points over the year. Florida’s rate for Nov. matches the national rate of 4.8 percent. The county’s November rate also declined 0.4 percentage points from October (all numbers not seasonally adjusted) according to reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“The job market this holiday season is the brightest in years -- the county’s unemployment rate is the lowest in eight years and the rate has remained below 6 percent for more than a year,” 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.  “We expect sustained progress into 2016 and invite county residents to let us help connect them with a new career opportunity in the New Year with classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training – all at no cost.”

The county’s unemployment rate is less than half of what it was at the peak of the Great Recession in summer 2010 – plummeting 7.0 percentage points from the 11.6 percent peak rate.

Today’s report comes on top of other healthy economic indicators – record-setting tourism, increased consumer confidence, rising sales tax revenues and a robust real estate market along with low inflation and interest rates.

Mr. Craig also noted another important indicator -- the latest increase in average weekly wages in the county is slightly higher than the national average, according to a report released yesterday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor. The average weekly wage in Palm Beach County rose 3.1 percent in second quarter 2015 (latest period available) while the national average increased 3.0 percent for the same time period. 

“Rising income is the last piece of the improving local economic picture. Job opportunities are increasing and putting upward pressure on wages,” he said.

Job growth by industry sector: Palm Beach County gained 12,800 jobs over the year led by professional/business services (+7,400 jobs). Over the year job growth exceeded the state rate and placed the county among the top three metro areas in the state for job gains for this category.  Gains in other categories included trade/transportation/utilities (+2,700 jobs); education/health services (+2,300 jobs); leisure/hospitality (+1,200 jobs); and construction (+500 jobs). Industry sectors that lost jobs over the year were financial activities (-900 jobs); manufacturing (-200 jobs); and information and government (-100 jobs each) with the category of other services unchanged.

Holiday closings: CareerSource Career Centers will be closed Christmas Eve Dec. 24, Christmas Day Dec. 25 and New Year’s Day Jan. 1.

During the past two program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 50,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1 billion in annual average wages. Employment statistics for Dec. 2015 will be released Jan. 22, 2016.

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. 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 employers that are interviewing are posted at www.careersourcepbc.com.

Virtual Career Center: From the home page at www.careersourcepbc.com , career seekers will find online tools and resources at our virtual career center available anytime.  The virtual center is easy to use with a five-step virtual road to employment success:

  • Online orientation/registration in EmployFlorida Marketplace, the statewide jobs database
  • Creating winning resumes and cover letters
  • Online skills assessments to help you examine career options and work environments that are best fits for you
  • Conducting online job and industry searches
  • Job interview strategies, techniques and networking to help you land the career of your choice

Palm Beach County residents also can visit career centers to attend job search and career development workshops – all at no cost. More information on programs and services is available at:
-- 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

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Investors

#1 Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners Aerojet Rocketdyne Bank of America Bank United Baptist Health South Florida
Caler, Donten, Levine, Cohen, Porter & Veil, P.A. CareerSource Carrier DePuy Synthes Power Tools, a Johnson & Johnson Company Equestrian Center
Florida Crystals Corporation FPL Greenberg Traurig Gunster Hardrives, Inc.
HCA Palm Beach Hospitals Hedrick Brothers Construction Hospital for Special Surgery J.C. White JP Morgan Chase
LRP Publications Martens Group Minto Communities, LLC NCCI Nova Southeastern University
Palm Beach Aggregates, LLC Palm Beach Park of Commerce PNC Bank Pratt & Whitney (A United Technologies Company) Raymond James Financial Services/Boynton Financial Group, Inc.
RSM South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine South Florida Business Journal Stiles-Nicholson Foundation TD Bank
Tortoise Properties Wells Fargo & Company Wexford Capital