Palm Beach County Unemployment Rate Lowest In 3 Years; Drops for Ninth Consecutive Month

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Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for April 2012 is 8.5 percent – a 1.7 percentage point decrease from the April 2011 rate of 10.2 percent. This is the county’s lowest unemployment rate since January 2009 (8.8 percent) and the ninth consecutive monthly decline, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

“The continued improvement in the region’s unemployment rate suggests that the quickening pace of the national recovery will be matched locally,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance.

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for April 2012 is 8.5 percent – a 1.7 percentage point decrease from the April 2011 rate of 10.2 percent. This is the county’s lowest unemployment rate since January 2009 (8.8 percent) and the ninth consecutive monthly decline, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state’s unemployment rate for April 2012 is 8.3 percent and the national rate is 7.7 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

“The continued improvement in the region’s unemployment rate suggests that the quickening pace of the national recovery will be matched locally,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state of Florida to lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

The latest report shows that Palm Beach County experienced employment growth in five industry categories over the previous 12 months: education and health services (+2,100 jobs), professional and business services (+1,100 jobs), trade/transportation/utilities (+700 jobs), construction (+600 jobs), and government (+400 jobs). Palm Beach County is the only metro area in the state that gained jobs in the construction category. Job losses over the same period were primarily in leisure and hospitality (-4,700 jobs), financial activities (-500 jobs) and other services (-200 jobs).

Workforce Alliance has been instrumental in placing thousands of Palm Beach County residents in jobs, from entry-level positions to the executive suite. In 2011, Workforce Alliance placed a record 13,453 candidates in jobs from entry-level positions to the executive suite, and awarded more than $2.5 million in training grants to employers and job seekers.

Besides helping area job seekers enter or re-enter the job market, 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.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors each month receive help from the specialized services at three Workforce Alliance Career Centers and two Executive Transition Units for professionals with a four-year college degree. The centers offer more than 100 classes and workshops each month for job search and job skills training, career development and consulting. 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 also is available at the Workforce Alliance Career Centers:
Central Career Center, 1951 N. Military Trail, Ste D, WPB, FL 33409 (561) 340-1060
South Career Center, 951 Yamato Road, Ste 175, Boca Raton, FL 33431 (561) 853-0181
West Career Center,1085 South 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.

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Tom Veenstra

Patrick Cannan
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