WEST PALM BEACH — For the first time since available records began in 2005, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County, according to statistics released Sept. 10, 2021 by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. These statistics reveal that there are 38,544 job openings and 36,626 unemployed people in the county (latest statistics available for July 2021; new statistics will be released for August on Sept. 17).
Florida actually reached this milestone in May 2021 with 511,391 job openings and 503,000 unemployed people statewide.
“This is an important milestone for Palm Beach County. Even before the pandemic, summer was traditionally our slow season for employment, but our job market now is hotter than the summer weather,” said Julia Dattolo, President and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County. “This is the best time to find a new or better job since Dec. 2019 when we reached a record low 2.7 percent unemployment.”
Palm Beach County’s latest unemployment rate (for July 2021 released Aug. 20) is 4.8 percent -- below both the 5.7 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.1 percent rate for 11 consecutive months. July’s rate also dropped 6.7 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 11.5 percent. Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 616,300, adding 32,400 jobs over the year. New statistics for August will be released on Sept. 17.
In addition to outperforming the state and nation for more than a year, Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate has outperformed other major state 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 have taken the longest time to recover.
High-demand job sectors: The county’s leisure/hospitality sector leads all industry sectors with 18.3 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a statewide gain of 16.5 percent in that sector. Jobs in the leisure/hospitality, education/health services, information, professional/business services, trade/transportation/utilities and manufacturing industries grew faster in the county than statewide over the year. There were over-the-year job gains in all but one industry sector – government -- in Palm Beach County in July. These statistics will be updated for August to be released on Sept. 17.
Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent in April 2020. The record low unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in Dec. 2019.
Looking for a New Career? Here’s Help!
CareerSource offers virtual and in-person job fairs, classes and facilities for job searches, grants for job skills training for those who qualify, career development and consulting – at no cost! During the past five program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 60,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1.2 billion in annual wages. CareerSource also awarded $10.1 million in grants to area businesses and employees for job training and educational assistance during that time. More information is at www.careersourcepbc.com.
CareerSource also provides services to help rebuild and sustain businesses 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.