Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Lowest in Nearly Five Years


West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) May 19, 2013

Palm Beach Countys unemployment rate for April 2013 is 6.8 percent the lowest since June 2008 (6.5 percent) and 1.6 percentage points less than the April 2012 rate of 8.4 percent. The countys unemployment rate matches the state and falls below the national rate of 7.1 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Aprils rate is 0.1 percentage points lower than the March 2013 rate (all numbers not seasonally adjusted).

The regions unemployment rate is the lowest in nearly five years and has been decreasing for nine consecutive months. This very positive trend, along with significant gains in the key areas of tourism and housing, shows that our local economy is continuing to gain momentum, said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Job growth: Palm Beach County gained 6,600 jobs over the year, experiencing employment growth in five industry categories: trade/transportation/utilities (+2,900 jobs); education/health services (+2,100 jobs); professional/business services (+2,000 jobs); government (+1,300 jobs) ranking first in the state in this category; and leisure/hospitality (+500 jobs). Workforce Alliance also has placed a record-setting number of people in jobs (more than 23,000) for the third consecutive year.

Job openings increase: There were 19,096 advertised job openings in Palm Beach County in April 2013, a 5.2 percent increase compared to April 2012. Occupational groups with the most advertised openings were sales and related occupations, office/administrative support functions, healthcare practitioners, and technical occupations.

Services for employers: Workforce Alliance provides a comprehensive package of no-cost services to help businesses compete in todays challenging marketplace. These services include recruitment, assessments and referrals of qualified job candidates; space and staff assistance for screening/interviewing candidates; and grants for training new or existing employees.

Services for job seekers: On average, more than 15,000 visitors each month receive help from the specialized services at three Workforce Alliance Career Centers. The centers offer classes and facilities for job search, career development and consulting; and grants for job skills training all at no cost for job seekers. Schedules of workshops and employers that are interviewing are posted on the Workforce Alliance website at http://www.pbcalliance.com.

Hire Florida Grads: This month, Governor Rick Scott announced a new program to challenge Florida businesses, workforce and education leaders to connect graduating college students to job interviews and employment opportunities as the states economy continues to grow. A special web portal, http://www.HireFloridaGrads.com, is available for college graduates searching for jobs through June 9. Through the portal, graduates can complete profiles that will assist Workforce Alliance and other regional workforce boards in matching qualified job seekers with open positions.

More information on programs and services is available at the Workforce Alliance Career Centers:

– Central Career Center-1951 N. Military Trail, Suite D, West Palm Beach, FL 33409; (561) 340-1060

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