Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for May remained at the lowest level in a dozen years — matching the 3.3 percent rate for April and down from 3.9 percent a year ago. The county’s rate was lower than the state’s 3.4 percent and the nation’s 3.6 percent rates, according to CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate has stayed below the state rate for the past 15 consecutive months and below the national rate for 16 consecutive months.
“If you’re looking for a job, the current market is about as good as it gets. For the past eight consecutive months, the county’s unemployment rate has fallen below or matched 4 percent, a healthy indicator of what many economists consider to be full employment,” said Steve Craig, president and CEO of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit chartered by the state to lead workforce development in the county.
Over the past 12 months, the county’s unemployment rate ranged between 3.3 and 4.5 percent, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. May’s rate is less than one-third of what it was at the 11.6 percent peak unemployment rate of the Great Recession in summer 2010.
On a percentage basis, job gains in May were led by the construction industry with 8.4 percent over-the-year job growth, above 6.2 percent statewide. The number of jobs in five sectors — construction, manufacturing, financial activities, leisure/hospitality and government — grew faster than statewide over the year.