CareerSource Palm Beach County recently announced that the county’s unemployment rate for July 2016 was 5.2 percent — down from 5.6 percent a year previous. Palm Beach County’s rate nearly matched that for the state and nation, with both at 5.1 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted), according to reports from CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“July’s unemployment rate reflects the traditionally slower summer season. However, Palm Beach County gained 18,000 jobs over the year — a strong 3.1 percent increase — and there were 18,620 advertised jobs available in the county in July,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development here. “It’s also important to focus on long-term trends rather than month-to-month. Prior to July, the county’s unemployment rate had stayed below 5 percent for nine consecutive months — down from 11.6 percent at the height of the 2010 recession — and we have added more than 94,000 jobs since the recession. This indicates sustained growth and a healthy regional economy.”
Industries in Palm Beach County gained jobs over the year in all but one sector. Professional/business services gained 4,500 jobs; leisure/hospitality, 4,000 jobs; education/health services, 3,600 jobs; financial activities, 1,600 jobs; construction, 1,500 jobs; trade/transportation/utilities, 1,000 jobs; government, 1,000 jobs; other services, 900 jobs; and information, 100 jobs. Only manufacturing lost jobs over the year.
Over-the-year job growth in leisure/hospitality (+5.1 percent), professional/business services (+4.2 percent), financial activities (+4 percent), other services (+3 percent), government (+1.8 percent) and information (+1 percent) grew as fast or faster than in all 24 metro areas in Florida for these sectors.
Also, Palm Beach County has placed in the top 25 in the nation for attracting skilled talent and placed in the top 100 in the nation for attracting young talent age 25 to 34, according to a new study just released by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI).
EMSI’s Talent Acquisition Scorecard study used five metrics to rank how every U.S. county has done drawing new residents, growing the skilled and overall workforces, and grabbing a greater share of skilled workers than the others.
“Talent attraction is ultra-competitive, and this study shows that Palm Beach County is drawing a high proportion of skilled talent, including a highly educated and skilled millennial population to fuel our area’s future workforce,” Craig said. “This also reaffirms that our ongoing efforts have been successful in attracting and retaining quality talent in collaboration with our partners, including the Business Development Board, area colleges and universities, the Palm Beach County School District and local government officials.”
Statistics for August will be released on Sept. 16.