Palm Beach County unemployment fell to a record low in November, a month when the jobless rate dropped to 2.8 percent.

Palm Beach County unemployment fell to a record low in November, a month when the jobless rate dropped to 2.8 percent.

That’s below the previous all-time low of 2.9 percent, achieved in April. Rock-bottom unemployment poses challenges for retailers and delivery companies ramping up for the holidays, for the federal government as it hires for the 2020 census and for employers of all stripes.

To find scarce workers, employers have been scouring job fairs and scouting social media. Bosses also have raised pay and sweetened benefits such as paid parental leave, employment experts say.

!function(){“use strict”;window.addEventListener(“message”,function(a){if(void 0![“datawrapper-height”])for(var e in[“datawrapper-height”]){var t=document.getElementById(“datawrapper-chart-“+e)||document.querySelector(“iframe[src*='”+e+”‘]”);t&&([“datawrapper-height”][e]+”px”)}})}();

The statewide unemployment rate, meanwhile, fell to 3.1 percent, tying a record low last seen in the boom year of 2006, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.

“Florida continued to experience positive economic indicators throughout 2019, including a consistently low unemployment rate,” DeSantis said in a statement.

Continuing a trend toward a shortage of workers, CareerSource Palm Beach County said its database of jobs once again had more openings than there were unemployed people in the county. Among the most plentiful openings are jobs for registered nurses and retail workers.

The government sector was the biggest gainer among Palm Beach County industries. It added 3,200 positions over the past year.

Professional and business services added 1,900 jobs, and construction employers expanded by 1,600 positions compared to November 2018.

The rebound in construction employment has marked the labor market’s return to employment patterns that were familiar before the Great Recession. In a return to large-scale homebuilding, the Westlake and Arden projects are under way in western Palm Beach County.

In downtown West Palm Beach, apartment towers, hotels and office buildings are rising.

“You can just look out the window, and say, ’Yeah, we’re busy,’” said Dennis Grady, head of the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.

In a less-robust sector, manufacturers added 300 jobs in the county.

In one strange change, the leisure and hospitality sector shrank by 1,200 jobs from a year ago. That sector had been driving growth for years.

Amid a decade-long economic expansion, unemployment rates have plunged nationally and in Florida. The U.S. jobless rate was 3.5 percent in November, matching a 50-year low set the month before.

Amid strong demand for workers, wage growth has begun to pick up. The average wage earned by American workers increased 3.1 percent from November 2018 to November 2019, according to the U.S. Labor Department.


Source link