Published Friday, December 21, 2018

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 21, 2018) – Palm Beach County job seekers have many reasons to be jolly this holiday season, 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):

  • The county’s unemployment rate for November dropped to a 28-year low of 3.0 percent – the lowest in records going back to 1990. November’s rate also dropped from 3.8 percent a year ago.
  • There are more job openings in Palm Beach County than unemployed people – 31,667 job openings in the county in November vs. 22,225 unemployed people. This is the first time the number of open jobs exceeded the number of unemployed people in records going back to 2005.
  • Over the year, Palm Beach County gained 19,700 jobs – a 3.2 percent increase.
  • Palm Beach County ranked 5th among all Florida counties for gross domestic product (GDP) for 2012-2015, according to the latest statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Dec. 12. The county’s real GDP totaled $71.7 billion in 2015, according to the BEA.

“The job market this holiday season is the brightest in nearly 30 years,” said Steve Craig, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “With the unemployment rate this low, it has become increasingly difficult for employers in many industries to find the workers they need and they often are raising wages because of the scarcity of workers.”

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for November also fell below the 3.5 percent national rate, continuing a 22-month streak where the county’s rate has stayed below or matched the national rate. Florida’s rate is 3.0 percent.

Over the past 12 months, the county’s unemployment rate ranged between 3.0 and 4.0 percent, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. November’s rate is about one-quarter 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 November were led by the financial activities sector with 11.0 percent over-the-year job growth, more than triple the statewide change of 3.3 percent.

The number of jobs in six sectors – financial activities, manufacturing, construction, leisure/hospitality, professional/business services, and information – grew faster than statewide over the year. There were job gains in all sectors except for government.

By the numbers, over-the-year job gains/losses in Palm Beach County were:

Industry                                                               Change from previous month

Leisure/hospitality                                          +7,000 jobs

Financial activities                                            +4,400 jobs

Professional/business services                  +4,000 jobs

Construction                                                      +3,000 jobs

Manufacturing                                                   +1,700 jobs

Education/health services                            +900 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                    +800 jobs

Other services                                                   +500 jobs

Information                                                        +300 jobs

Government                                                      -2,900 jobs


Top 8 most advertised jobs available: The Conference Board produces a monthly report of real-time labor demand captured through online job advertisements. The latest report shows that there were advertisements for 31,667 full-time and part-time jobs in Palm Beach County in November. The top 8 most advertised jobs in the county are for:

  1. Registered nurses
  2. Retail salespeople
  3. First-line supervisors of retail sales workers
  4. Customer service representatives
  5. Accountants
  6. Software developers
  7. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers
  8. Critical care nurses

Beginning with this latest report, recipients were notified that The Conference Board made a comprehensive revision of the data used to compile these reports going back to Jan. 2012. Because of this, the notice said, the trend in these series has also improved.

New Professional Placement Network kicks off in January:  CareerSource Palm Beach County is opening a new Professional Placement Network (PPN) at its Central Career Center, 3400 Belvedere Road, in West Palm Beach to better serve professionals beginning in Jan. 2019. The PPN will provide specialized services for professionals who have been displaced, in career transition, or are looking for new career growth opportunities. The program is designed to assist individuals holding a 4-year degree and $47,000 minimum salary in their most recent position. Classes will be held from 9 a.m. to noon over 3 consecutive days each month and are limited to no more than 20 professionals each. Initial classes are scheduled for:

  • Jan. 15 – 17, 2019
  • Feb. 12 – 14, 2019
  • March 19 – 21, 2019

There is no cost to participants, but you must register in advance to attend at:

Minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1: Florida’s minimum wage increases from $8.25 per hour to $8.46 per hour. The direct wage to tipped employees increases from $5.23 per hour to $5.44 per hour in addition to tips.

Holiday closings: Our facilities will be closed Monday, Dec 24 and Tuesday, Dec. 25 for Christmas, and Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 for New Year’s.

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 92,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $2.1 billion in annual average wages. CareerSource also has awarded $13 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: Our 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. Schedules of workshops and employer hiring events are posted at From this same home page, you also will find our mobile-friendly Virtual Career System with online tools and resources to access our programs and services 24/7.

Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for Dec. 2018 are scheduled for release on Jan. 18, 2019.






Aerojet Rocketdyne Bank of America BB&T CareerSource Centennial Bank
DePuy Synthes Power Tools, a Johnson & Johnson Company Engel & Volkers Palm Beach Equestrian Center Florida Crystals Corporation FPL
GL Homes GliddenSpina + Partners Greenberg Traurig Gunster Hardrives, Inc.
HCA Palm Beach Hospitals Hedrick Brothers Construction J.C. White JP Morgan Chase LRP Publications
MBAF Minto Communities, LLC NCCI NextGen Mgmt dba DxWeb Management, LLC Nova Southeastern University
Palm Beach Aggregates, LLC Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners Palm Beach Park of Commerce Pratt & Whitney (A United Technologies Company) Raymond James Financial Services/Boynton Financial Group, Inc.
RSM South Florida Business & Wealth Magazine South Florida Business Journal TD Bank Tortoise Properties
Wells Fargo & Company Wexford Capital