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There are more jobs than people applying for jobs in Palm Beach County

More jobs available than unemployed residents for first time in 16 years
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Posted at 9:59 PM, Sep 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 23:59:20-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Cooper restaurant is finally in a good place when it comes to staffing.

"We struggled during the months of February, March and April when I really needed staff the most. But once the spring ended and summer ensued, people were knocking down our door to come work for us," manager James Stone said.

Stone said he's clear on why the change in hiring.

"I think that's predicated on our reputation, as well as the stability we've had here," he said.

For the first time in 16 years, there are more job openings than unemployed people in Palm Beach County, according to data from Career Source Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

According to the newest data, there are more than 8,000 job openings compared to 36,000 and unemployed people in the county.

Florida Atlantic University professor Siri Terjesen some people may not be coming back to the job market.

"The real estate and stock markets are up," he said. "So many people may have reached that magic number where they could retire. Then there are certainly many people who would prefer not to return to work in the conditions they left work."

As of July, Palm Beach County's unemployment rate was 4.8 percent a rate below both national and state averages.

Terjesen said Palm Beach County continues to attract new opportunities.

"There are exciting companies that have decided to stay and grow here," she said. "There are really neat companies that are starting here. Entrepreneurs are moving here."

Stone said he's planning on doing more hiring in the near future.