Gov. Scott: West Palm Beach Metro Area’s unemployment rate declined by 2.0 percentage points over the year in January

Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the West Palm Beach metro area’s unemployment rate declined by 2.0 percentage points over the year, from 8.3 percent in January 2013 to 6.3 percent in January 2014. The metro area experienced positive annual job growth with an increase 14,100 jobs over the year.

Governor Scott said, “With 14,100 new jobs over the year and the declining unemployment rate, it is clear that our pro-growth policies are working for Florida families in the West Palm Beach area. We must continue to create an opportunity economy where businesses can grow and create jobs for generations to come, so let’s keep working.”

Nine of the ten major industry sectors in this metro area gained jobs over the year in January 2014. The industries with the largest job gains over the year were in professional and business services with 5,700 new jobs and education and health with 2,700 new jobs. Housing starts were up 5.9 percent over the year in the West Palm Beach metro area in January 2014.

In January 2014, the West Palm Beach metro area ranked fifth in the state for online job demand with 14,741 job openings. The metro area also ranked fifth for demand for STEM occupations with 3,802 openings. STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and these jobs are considered high wage and high skill.

In January, CareerSource Palm Beach County, along with the state’s other 23 Regional Workforce Boards, reported more than 38,800 Floridians were placed in jobs. An individual who receives employment and training assistance through a One-Stop Career Center and finds a job within 180 days is deemed a placement and may be reported by a regional workforce board. Of these individuals, 10,106 previously received Reemployment Assistance. In 2013, more than 479,064 Floridians were placed in jobs, with 135,384 former claimants finding employment.

Florida’s statewide unemployment rate for January 2014 was 6.1 percent, the lowest unemployment rate in the state since June 2008. Florida’s statewide unemployment rate has been below the national unemployment rate since August 2013, which was 6.6 percent in January. Since December 2010, Florida has gained 503,500 private sector jobs.

Every March, U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases revised historical employment (jobs) and unemployment rates based on a benchmarking process to adjust the data. These benchmark revisions are mandated by BLS and take place this time every year in every state. The benchmark revisions represent an annual change in the level of employment or re-anchoring of survey estimates to actual employment counts from Reemployment Assistance tax records. This process also introduces new population inputs from the most recent Census and other revisions to economic data which leads to changes in the original estimates.

Employment data for February 2014 will be released on March 28, 2014. To view the January 2014 employment data visit


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