Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops Slightly

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Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August 2011 was 11.0 percent – down 0.2 percentage points from the July 2011 rate of 11.2 percent – and a 1.3 percentage point decrease from the August 2010 rate of 12.3 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation.

Palm Beach County experienced its largest over-the-year employment increase of 2011, adding 8,100 jobs over the last 12 months

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August 2011 was 11.0 percent – down 0.2 percentage points from the July 2011 rate of 11.2 percent – and a 1.3 percentage point decrease from the August 2010 rate of 12.3 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. The state unemployment rate for August 2011 was 10.9 percent and the national rate was 9.1 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

“It’s encouraging to note that Palm Beach County experienced its largest over-the-year employment increase of 2011, adding 8,100 jobs over the last 12 months, and job openings have increased 12.6 percent compared to this same time last year,” said Steve Craig, interim chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance, the nonprofit organization chartered by the State of Florida to create and lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County experienced employment growth in six industry categories over the last 12 months, including include leisure and hospitality (+5,700 jobs), education and health services (+4,100 jobs), professional and business services (+1,700 jobs), other services (+400 jobs), transportation/warehousing (+300 jobs), and financial activities (+100 jobs). Job losses over the same period were primarily in wholesale and retail trade (-1,800 jobs), construction (-1,000 jobs) government (-900 jobs), and information (-500 jobs).

There also were 14,978 advertised job openings in Palm Beach County in August 2011, an increase of 1,671 jobs (+12.6 percent) from August 2010. Job openings bottomed out in January 2009 in Palm Beach County, with demand increasing by 5,301 openings since then.

In the most recent program year (July 2010 to June 2011), Workforce Alliance placed 12,771 candidates in jobs – a record number and a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year.
Besides helping record numbers of area job seekers enter or re-enter the job market, Workforce Alliance helps improve the economy by providing services to employers and funding training programs that upgrade the job skills of current workers. These services include recruitment, assessments and referrals of qualified job candidates; space for screening/interviewing candidates; grants for training new or existing employees; and outplacement assistance.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors each month are being helped by specialized services that are provided at the three Workforce Alliance Career Centers and two Executive Transition Units. The centers offer free workshops and other resources for job search and job skills training, career development and consulting.

Workforce Alliance Career Centers offer more than 100 classes and workshops each month on topics such as basic computer skills, how to search online for jobs, resume writing and effective job interviewing techniques. There is no cost for the classes and the monthly schedules are posted on the Workforce Alliance website, http://www.pbcalliance.com .

More information also 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                
South Career Center; 951 Yamato Road, Suite 175; Boca Raton, FL 33431 – (561) 853-0181                
West Career Center; 1085 Main Street; Belle Glade, FL 33430 – (561) 829-2040

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