PALM BEACH COUNTY ADDS 13,200 JOBS OVER YEAR FOR SECOND HIGHEST ANNUAL JOB GROWTH RATE IN FLORIDA; UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 4.9 PERCENT

Published Friday, December 16, 2016

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 16, 2016) – CareerSource Palm Beach County has some gifts for area career seekers and employers this holiday season:

  • The county’s 4.9 percent unemployment rate for November – down slightly from 5.0 percent in October – remains among the lowest in years. 
  • Palm Beach County had the second highest annual job growth rate compared to all 20 metro areas in Florida. The county gained 13,200 jobs over the year – a 2.2 percent increase – and there were 20,000 advertised jobs available in the county in November.

  • Palm Beach County ranked 15 in employment growth among 344 largest U.S. counties, according to the latest report from the U. S. Dept. of Labor. According to the report, employment increases in the county also topped that for the state and more than doubled the national level in second quarter 2016 compared to the same time last year (latest period available).

According to reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the state’s unemployment rate for November is 4.8 percent and the national rate is 4.4 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted).

“The job market this holiday season is bright and we expect sustained progress in the first half of 2017 at least,” 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 also expect an intense demand for jobs in construction and other trades in 2017 for infrastructure projects funded by the sales tax approved in November.”

Job growth by industry sector: Industry sectors in Palm Beach County gaining jobs over the year are: education/health services (+3,500 jobs); leisure/hospitality (+3,300 jobs); professional/business services (+2,600 jobs); construction (+1,700 jobs); trade/transportation/utilities (+1,100 jobs); other services (+1,100 jobs); and government (+500 jobs).  The financial activities (-400 jobs); manufacturing (-100 jobs); and information (-100 jobs) sectors all lost jobs over the year. 

The construction (+5.4 percent) and other services (+3.5 percent) sectors grew faster than statewide over the year.

Minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1: Florida’s minimum wage increases from $8.05 per hour to $8.10 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Employers of tipped employees who meet eligibility requirements for the tip credit under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act may credit towards satisfaction of the minimum wage tips up to the amount of the allowable FLSA tip credit in 2003. Those employers must pay tipped employees a direct wage equal to the minimum wage minus the 2003 tip credit, or a direct hourly wage of $5.08 as of Jan. 1, 2017.

Don’t relax your job search for the holidays: While it’s tempting to cut back on a job search during the holiday season, CareerSource Palm Beach County encourages career seekers to redouble their efforts this time of year.

“Employers, HR departments and recruiters are challenged to fill positions before 2016 budgets end as well as hiring for new positions funded by annual budgets starting in January. Candidates responding promptly to new job openings and calls for job interviews have a much greater chance of landing a position than those who relax their search activities,” said Mr. Craig.

The staff at CareerSource Palm Beach County stands ready to connect residents with a new career in the New Year with classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training. CareerSource absorbs the cost for these services. During the past two program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 45,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to the 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. 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. 

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

Holiday closings:  CareerSource career centers will be closed Monday, Dec. 26 for Christmas Day and Monday, Jan. 2 for New Year’s Day.

State and local area employment statistics for Dec. 2016 will be released on Jan. 20, 2017.

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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 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