Palm Beach County Jobless Rate The Lowest In 9 Years

CareerSource Palm Beach County recently announced that the county’s unemployment rate for May 2016 dropped to a nine-year low of 4.2 percent, down 0.9 compared with a year ago. The May rate also fell below both the state and the national rate.

Florida’s rate for May is 4.4 percent, and the national rate is 4.5 percent (all numbers not seasonally adjusted), according to reports released by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“With our improving economy, employers are hiring more, and this is putting upward pressure on wages. Growth in wages and salaries in South Florida is one of the strongest in the nation,” said Steve Craig, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development here. “Other measures confirm continued improvement in the local labor market. The county’s unemployment rate for May is the lowest in nine years and also is the eighth consecutive month that the rate has fallen below 5 percent. Palm Beach County gained 13,800 jobs over the year — a 2.4 percent increase — and there are more than 20,500 jobs available in the county.”

Wages and salaries in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach metropolitan statistical area increased 3.5 percent compared with 2 percent nationally for the year ending in March 2016. This gain is the largest increase among the south’s five metropolitan areas, according to the most recent report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Craig also pointed out other healthy economic indicators: record-setting tourism and a robust real estate market, along with low inflation, fuel prices and interest rates.

Industries in Palm Beach County with the largest job gains over the year are professional/business services (+4,300 jobs); education/health services (+2,500 jobs); leisure/hospitality (+2,100 jobs); financial activities (+1,900 jobs); and government (+1,600 jobs). Gains in other categories include other services (+1,000 jobs); trade/transportation/utilities (+500 jobs); and manufacturing (+100 jobs).

Over-the-year job growth in financial activities (+4.8 percent), professional/business services (+4.1 percent), other services (+3.2 percent) and government (+2.6 percent) exceeded the state rate for these categories.

During the past two program years, CareerSource Palm Beach County assisted nearly 50,000 residents in finding employment, ranging from entry-level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $1 billion in annual average wages.

State and local area employment statistics for June 2016 will be released on July 22.

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.

More information on programs and services is available at the Central Career Center at 3400 Belvedere Road in West Palm Beach, (561) 340-1060; and the West Career Center at 1085 S. Main Street in Belle Glade, (561) 829-2040.