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Workforce Alliance: Palm Beach County Unemployment Drops Slightly

Date: October 21 2011

West Palm Beach, FL (PRWEB) October 21, 2011
Palm Beach County’s unemployment rate for September 2011 was 10.9 percent – down 0.2 percentage points from the August 2011 rate of 11.1 percent – and a 1.3 percentage point decrease from the September 2010 rate of 12.2 percent, according to information provided today by Workforce Alliance and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The state unemployment rate for September 2011 was 10.6 percent and the national rate was 8.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

“It’s encouraging to note that Palm Beach County experienced its largest over-the-year employment increase of 2011, adding 8,782 jobs over the last 12 months, as well as the second straight month of a decline in its unemployment rate,” said Steve Craig, interim chief executive officer of Workforce Alliance, the nonprofit organization chartered by the state of Florida to create and lead workforce development in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach County experienced employment growth in six industry categories over the last 12 months, including education and health services (+5,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (+3,500 jobs), professional and business services (+2,600 jobs), other services (+300 jobs), transportation/warehousing (+300 jobs), and financial activities (+100 jobs). Job losses over the same period were primarily in government (-1,800 jobs), wholesale and retail trade (- 1,600 jobs), construction (-700 jobs) and information (-500 jobs).

In the most recent program year (July 2010 to June 2011), Workforce Alliance placed 12,771 candidates in jobs – a record number and a 19 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Besides helping record numbers of area job seekers enter or re-enter the job market, Workforce Alliance helps improve the economy by providing services to employers and funding training programs that upgrade the job skills of current workers. These services include recruitment, assessments and referrals of qualified job candidates; space for screening/interviewing candidates; grants for training new or existing employees; and outplacement assistance.

On average, more than 11,000 visitors each month are being helped by specialized services that are provided at the three Workforce Alliance career centers and two Executive Transition Units. The centers offer free workshops and other resources for job search and job skills training, career development and consulting.

Workforce Alliance career centers offer more than 100 classes and workshops each month on topics such as basic computer skills, how to search online for jobs, resume writing and effective job interviewing techniques. The centers also host visits by employers who use the facility and Workforce Alliance staff assistance to interview, screen and accept applications from candidates. There is no cost for the services to job seekers and the schedules of workshops and employers interviewing are posted on the Workforce Alliance website,
More information is also available at the Workforce Alliance career centers:
Central Career Center:
1951 N. Military Trail, Ste. D; West Palm Beach, FL 33409; (561) 340-1060
South Career Center:
951 Yamato Road, Ste. 175; Boca Raton, FL 33431; (561) 853-0181
West Career Center:
1085 So. Main Street; Belle Glade, FL 33430-4437; (561) 829-2040

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