Palm Beach County unemployment rate drops below state, national rates

'The county is recovering faster than we expected,' says CareerSource PBC'
Unemployment in Palm Beach County
Posted at 10:29 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 22:29:29-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As job seekers continue to grapple with the unemployment crisis, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reports the state continues to outpace the nation in job growth.

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for December 2020 is 5.5 percent, below November’s 5.9 percent.

The county’s rate also fell below the 6.5 percent national rate and Florida’s 5.8 percent rate for the fourth consecutive month, according to the latest monthly reports released today by CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“The county is recovering faster than we expected,” said Tom Veenstra, vice president of administration for CareerSource Palm Beach County. “That's great news. We're entering our winter tourist season, that helps an awful lot.”

Among the top five key industry sectors in Palm Beach County, the leisure and hospitality sector had the most job gains with more than 3,400 jobs added.

Jobs in the Construction sector grew faster in the county than across the state over the last year.

“We've got a lot of growth going on downtown with the construction cranes you've been seeing and the business development board is reporting they have several high paying jobs coming our way. Plus, there's more aid coming at the federal and the state level,” said Veenstra.

Veenstra is encouraging job seekers to stay optimistic as the number of job openings in Palm Beach County continue to climb.

There are 2,740 job openings in Palm Beach County compared with less than 400 in April.

Outside of the Great Depression, the county’s record high unemployment rate reached 14.2 percent in April 2020.

The record low unemployment rate was 2.7 percent in Dec. 2019.