Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Drops for Second Consecutive Month; Down Nearly 2 Percentage Points Compared to Last Year

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Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for September 2012 is 9.2 percent – a 0.4 percentage point decrease from the August 2012 rate of 9.6 percent – and a 1.9 percentage point decrease from the September 2011 rate of 11.1 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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There were 18,430 advertised job openings in Palm Beach County in September 2012, a 12 percent increase (1,978 openings) compared to September 2011.

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for September 2012 is 9.2 percent – a 0.4 percentage point decrease from the August 2012 rate of 9.6 percent – and a 1.9 percentage point decrease from the September 2011 rate of 11.1 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state’s unemployment rate for September 2012 is 8.6 percent and the national rate is 7.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

“Although the region’s employment has picked up in the fall as it has traditionally, the gap when compared to the state and national unemployment numbers continues to increase. This suggests that our local economy is not improving as quickly,” 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.

While there were 800 fewer jobs in the county compared to September 2011, Palm Beach County experienced employment growth in four industry categories: government (+2,100 jobs, which ranks Palm Beach County first in the state for jobs gained in this category); trade/transportation/utilities (+1,800 jobs); education and health services (+1,600 jobs); and construction (+400 jobs).

Job openings increase: There were 18,430 advertised job openings in Palm Beach County in September 2012, a 12 percent increase (1,978 openings) compared to September 2011. Occupational groups with the most advertised openings were healthcare practitioners, technical occupations, sales and related occupations, office and administrative support functions, and customer service representatives.

Record job placements: Workforce Alliance placed a record 16,428 candidates in jobs from entry level to executive positions during the most recent program year, a record high for the second consecutive year. The organization also awarded more than $2.5 million in training incentives to Palm Beach County employers and job seekers.

Services for employers: Workforce Alliance provides a comprehensive package of services to help businesses compete in today’s 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 11,000 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. There is no cost for services to job seekers. Schedules of workshops and employers that are interviewing are posted on the Workforce Alliance website at http://www.pbcalliance.com.

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

Note to editors: You are invited to send a reporter/photographer/video crew to interview a Workforce Alliance spokesperson and/or job seekers at our Central Career Center in West Palm Beach. Please call 561.340.1060 ext. 2368 or 561.340.1061 ext. 2229 for scheduling.

Contacts:

  • Patrick Cannan; Manager, Communications 561.340.1060, ext. 2368
  • Tom Veenstra; Director, Communications 561.340.1061, ext. 2229

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