Published On: Sat, Sep 18th, 2021

Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops to 4.7 Percent; More Job Openings Than Unemployed for Second Consecutive Month

Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth’s office reports the unemployment rate for August is 4.7 percent — below both the 5.3 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.0 percent rate for a full year, according to the latest monthly reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (all numbers not seasonally adjusted).

August’s rate also dropped 3.4 percentage points below the year-ago rate of 8.1 percent. 

Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 623,900, adding 36,100 jobs over the year – a 6.1 percent gain compared to Florida’s 4.9 percent gain. 

Other improvements include:

  • For the second consecutive month, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County – 37,267 job openings vs. 35,320 unemployed people in August. Same case for the state – 529,000 job openings vs. 520,326 unemployed people.
  • For more than a year, the county’s unemployment rate stayed below 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.
  • For the fifth consecutive month, the leisure/hospitality industry sector led the county in over-the-year job growth. Discover the Palm Beaches reported that both July and August 2021 tourism numbers were in line with 2019, a record year for visitation. Hiring traditionally begins picking up for the busy winter season and the outlook for Palm Beach County is bright. According to the industry research firm Destination Analysts, 80 percent of American travelers currently have trip plans and beaches/resorts are the number one destination.

“Before the pandemic, summer was traditionally our slow season for employment. Our job market is scorching — with Palm Beach County continuing to outperform the state and nation for an entire year,” 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. 

Job growth by industry sector: On a percentage basis, job gains in August were led by the leisure/hospitality sector with 21.3 percent over-the-year job growth, besting a statewide gain of 16.3 percent in that sector. Jobs in the leisure/hospitality, education/health services, government, manufacturing, construction, and trade/transportation/utilities and manufacturing industries grew faster in the county than statewide over the year.

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

Industry                                               Change                         Total jobs

  • Leisure/hospitality                                +14,200 jobs                80,800             
  • Education/health services                     +7,000 jobs               107,200
  • Professional/business services            +4,600 jobs               120,600
  • Trade/transportation/utilities                +3,400 jobs               112,800
  • Government                                        +2,100 jobs                 59,000
  • Other services                                     +1,800 jobs                 30,700
  • Construction                                        +1,200 jobs                 39,000
  • Manufacturing                                      +700 jobs                   19,900
  • Financial activities                                +600 jobs                   43,900
  • Information                                          +500 jobs                     9,800

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.

Job Fairs Coming Up!

Sept. 23: North County virtual job fair with a variety of businesses and industries in the north county area, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oct. 14: Project Impact job fair at the Boynton Beach Arts and Cultural Center; 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Oct. 19: Community in-person job fair at the Riviera Beach Marina Center

Oct. 29: In-person job fair at Palm Beach State College Lake Worth Campus focused on the manufacturing industry, veterans’ priority 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; public 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information on these events is at careersourcepbc.com.

CareerSource Helps Job Seekers at Five Public Libraries

The Riviera Beach Public Library has partnered with CareerSource Palm Beach County to provide job seekers access to free resources and services for employment. A CareerSource representative is available in person at the library, located at 2129 N. Congress Ave., each Monday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. to assist with employment, re-employment, resume assistance, filing for unemployment and career path assistance. The representative is fluent in English, Spanish and Haitian Creole. To learn more, call the library at (561) 845-4195 or www.rivierabeach.org/government/library

CareerSource offers similar in-person services for job seekers at:

  • Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach, 411 Clematis St., (561) 868-7700
  • Boynton Beach City Library, 100 E Ocean Ave., (561) 742-6390
  • Delray Beach Public Library, 100 W Atlantic Ave., (561) 266-0194  
  • Summit Branch Library, 3650 Summit Blvd., West Palm Beach, (561) 233-2600

Contact the libraries for more information on scheduled dates and times when a CareerSource representative is available at those locations.

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 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.  

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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