Palm Beach County Unemployment Drop Reflects Seasonal Trend

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Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August 2012 is 9.6 percent – a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the July 2012 rate of 9.8 percent – and a 1.7 percentage point decrease from the August 2011 rate of 11.3 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state’s unemployment rate for August 2012 is 9.0 percent and the national rate is 8.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

Appointment announced today by Chairman of the Board, Steven Parrish

Robert "Steve" Craig

“Area employment traditionally picks up after the summer, and August ended what had been a monthly increase in the area’s unemployment rate for three consecutive months,” said Steve Craig, president and chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance.

Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for August 2012 is 9.6 percent – a 0.2 percentage point decrease from the July 2012 rate of 9.8 percent – and a 1.7 percentage point decrease from the August 2011 rate of 11.3 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state’s unemployment rate for August 2012 is 9.0 percent and the national rate is 8.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

“Area employment traditionally picks up after the summer, and August ended what had been a monthly increase in the area’s unemployment rate for three consecutive months,” 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 2,600 jobs were lost compared to August 2011, Palm Beach County experienced employment growth in five industry categories: education and health services (+2,100 jobs); trade/transportation/utilities (+1,500 jobs); construction (+900 jobs, ranking first in the state for jobs gained in this category); government (+800 jobs); and other services (+100 jobs).

Job openings increase: There were 18,701 advertised job openings in Palm Beach County in August 2012, an 18 percent increase (2,868 openings) compared to last year. Occupational groups with the most advertised openings were healthcare practitioners, retail sales and related occupations, customer service representatives, and accountants. The number of job openings in Palm Beach County bottomed out in Jan. 2009 and have increased by 8,816 openings since then.

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 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.

Hiring Our Heroes Veterans Job Fair Sept. 25: Workforce Alliance is teaming up with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other partners in hosting a job fair for veterans and their spouses on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Besides assisting employers in recruiting veterans for job openings, Workforce Alliance provides training grants and information on tax incentives for hiring veterans.

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

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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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