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PALM BEACH COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS TO 3.8 PERCENT FROM 4.7 PERCENT YEAR AGO; 2,800 JOBS ADDED OVER YEAR

/ January 3, 2018

West Palm Beach, Fla. (Dec. 22, 2017) – CareerSource Palm Beach County has some gifts for career seekers this holiday season. According to reports released today from CareerSource PBC and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity:

  • Palm Beach County’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate for November 2017 dropped from 4.7 percent from a year ago (numbers not seasonally adjusted).
  • Florida’s unemployment rate matched Palm Beach County, down from 4.8 percent last year, and both are below the 3.9 percent national rate, all numbers not seasonally adjusted.
  • The county’s average weekly wage of $1,002 was the highest in Florida during the second quarter (according to U.S. Dept. of Labor statistics released this month) and up 3.7 percent from the same period last year.

“The job market this holiday season continues to be among the brightest in nearly a decade. There were 21,184 available advertised jobs in November – that’s 1,708 more jobs than October and 1,184 more than last year,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of CareerSource Palm Beach County, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County’s monthly unemployment rate ranged between 3.6 and 5.2 percent over the past 12 months, primarily reflecting seasonal fluctuations. This compares favorably with state and national levels, and is about one-third 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 construction industry with 9.7 percent over-the-year job growth, above 9.0 percent statewide, reflecting a very competitive market for this industry sector. Rebuilding efforts following Hurricane Irma put additional pressure on the already strong demand for construction workers throughout South Florida.

The number of jobs in two sectors – construction and government – grew faster than statewide over the year.

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

Industry                                                               Change from previous month

Construction                                                      +3,500 jobs

Government                                                      +1,600 jobs

Other services                                                   + 900 jobs

Leisure/hospitality                                          + 400 jobs

Manufacturing                                                  + 100 jobs

Information                                                        + 100 jobs

Trade/transportation/utilities                    -1,600 jobs

Financial activities                                            – 800 jobs

Professional/business services                  – 700 jobs

Education/health services                            – 700 jobs

 

Minimum wage increase effective Jan. 1: Florida’s minimum wage increases from $8.10 per hour to $8.25 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2018. The direct wage to tipped employees increases from $5.08 per hour to $5.23 per hour in addition to tips.

Job search tips during the holidays: While it’s tempting to cut back on a job search during the holiday season, CareerSource Palm Beach County encourages career seekers to redouble their efforts this time of year.

“Employers, HR departments and recruiters are challenged to fill positions before 2017 budgets end as well as hiring for new positions funded by annual budgets starting in January. Candidates responding promptly to new job openings and calls for job interviews have a much greater chance of landing a position than those who relax their search activities,” said Mr. Craig.

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 118,000 residents find employment ranging from entry level to executive suite, with salaries from these jobs creating $2.2 billion in annual average wages. CareerSource also has awarded nearly $15 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: CareerSource is committed to help provide Palm Beach County residents with the opportunity to get a great job and build a career. The Central Career Center offers classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training – all at no cost for career seekers. Schedules of workshops and employer hiring events are posted at www.careersourcepbc.com.

Holiday closings:  CareerSource PBC career centers will be closed Monday, Dec. 25 for Christmas Day and Monday, Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day.

Next monthly employment reports for Florida and Palm Beach County: State and local employment reports for Dec. 2017 are scheduled for release on Jan. 19, 2018.

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