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Palm Beach County's unemployment among lowest in the state

For the third consecutive month there are more jobs available than people unemployed
Posted at 10:58 PM, Nov 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-06 00:02:04-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida ranks number one in the nation in economic recovery from the pandemic when it comes to unemployment claims.

Still last week's unemployment claims show we're not at pre-pandemic numbers just yet.

WPTV’s Michelle Quesada takes an in depth look at why that is and where we are locally with job recovery.

It feels like everywhere you look now there are 'Now Hiring' signs. The unemployment rate for the state continues to drop but according to a WalletHub study, last week’s claims were higher than the beginning of 2020.

These days the job market is an employment seeker’s playing field and people can afford to be picky.

“I got a job offer to go all the way to Hallandale,” said West Palm Beach resident Michael Gordon-Hill. “The cost of travel don’t make sense.”

For the third consecutive month there are more jobs available than people unemployed.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, said its study shows last week’s claims are still 29% higher than just before the pandemic and 9% higher compared to the same week in 2019.

“Childcare availability and expenses still an issue,” said Tom Veenstra of CareerSource Palm Beach County. “We see a lot of spouses, one person in the home not returning to the workplace, because of that so, that’s still a factor as well.”

The latest data shows Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate at 4.1% - it continues to be lower than the state and national rate.

Veenstra believes the expiration of benefits will not have much of an impact on the unemployment rate in the next few months.

“We have seen continued improvement for many months now,” he said.

Hiring is still a challenge for employers, but as of September data shows the number of people coming back into the workforce is up 14% compared to a year ago.

“It’s great time to be looking for a job,” said Veenstra.

Five months ago, Gordon-Hill found a job. He said back then it wasn’t as easy to find work.

“It’s a matter of who you know,” Gordon-Hill said.

New state unemployment data for October will be released in two weeks.