More jobs available in Palm Beach County than people unemployed

Current market allowing job seekers to be choosy
Help wanted sign
Posted at 2:31 PM, Sep 27, 2021

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — It's a job seeker's market right now.

There are currently more jobs in Palm Beach County than there are people unemployed. But this high supply, low demand trend is making it difficult for employers to fill positions.

The pandemic is making many people rethink their career paths.

"I'm looking for [jobs in] television and marketing," said Lawrence Cornetta.

Lawrence Cornetta, job seeker
Lawrence Cornetta is seeking a career change following the pandemic.

After more than a decade in sales, it's never been a better time for Cornetta to get back to his broadcasting roots.

"I'm having interviews all over the place," Cornetta said.

During the month of August, there were 37,267 job openings compared to 35,320 unemployed people, according to CareerSource of Palm Beach County.

The unemployment rate for the county was lower than the state and national averages.

Below is the unemployment rate for Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast for August:

  • Indian River County 5.3 percent
  • St. Lucie County 5.3 percent
  • Okeechobee County 4.9 percent
  • Palm Beach County 4.7 percent
  • Martin County 4 percent

The U.S. unemployment rate for August was 5.3 percent while Florida's was 5 percent.

Tom Veenstra, CareerSource
Tom Veenstra with CareerSource speaks about the number of jobs currently available in Palm Beach County.

"A job seeker today has a lot of options, and that includes pay scale," said Tom Veenstra, vice president of administration at CareerSource of Palm Beach County.

Veenstra said entry-level jobs that were being filled at $9 to $11 an hour last year are going for $14 to $16+ an hour.

It is a great playing field for job seekers, but employers, like local governments, are in a tough spot.

"Like many employers, were just finding a shortage of applicants who are eager to work and fill all the positions," said Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer.

The city of Boca Raton currently has 66 full-time positions open and 58 part-time jobs.

Libraries are still not open seven days a week because of a lack of part-time librarians. Singer said the most difficult jobs to fill right now are trade jobs.

"Skilled trades across the board. You know, we have utility workers, people with expertise in construction and maintenance, our fleet management. So, we have a wide range of positions," Singer said.

Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer
Mayor Scott Singer speaks about the job openings currently available in Boca Raton.

"Employers across the board, no matter what the industry sector, are finding it challenging to find really good employees," added Veenstra.

That's where the signing bonuses, higher pay scale and other incentives come in.

The city of Stuart is offering a two-week pay, sign-on bonus for the positions they fill. This is happening because cities are saving money the longer these positions are open.

"One of my friends got a job offer, and it was a $75,000 sign-on bonus," said Cornetta about a job in the private sector. "There's a lot of hope out there."

Some employers are dealing with "ghosting," when candidates accept a job but then never show up for work. Veenstra said with so many options for remote work, employers will need to be more aggressive in the hiring process.

"Frankly, we're concerned that employers will need to find more workers. We're concerned about the supply that we have available to do that," Veenstra added.

Palm Beach County has several upcoming job fairs:

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 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; Public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Click here for more information on these events.

Total government positions open by city:

  • Boca Raton – 124
  • Boynton Beach - 10
  • Delray Beach - 73
  • West Palm Beach - 48
  • Jupiter - 24
  • Stuart - 19
  • Port St. Lucie - 26
  • Vero Beach - 11
  • Fort Pierce - 9