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Palm Beach County's jobless rate lowest since Jan. '09

By Palm Beach

DELRAY BEACH — The jobless rate continued to drop statewide and in Palm Beach and Broward counties last month, according to the latest report from Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity.

April’s unemployment report, released Friday, showed the statewide rate dropping to a seasonally adjusted 8.7 percent from 9.0 percent a month earlier and 10.6 percent a year ago. The actual number of residents out of work dropped to 804,000 from 837,000 a month ago. That’s down more than 200,000 from the peak.

In Palm Beach County, the rate fell to 8.5 percent from 8.8 percent a month earlier and 10.2 percent a year ago. That’s the lowest rate since January 2009. The number out of work: 51,802, down from 62,628 a year ago. County level numbers are not seasonally adjusted, making month-to-month comparisons less meaningful.

“The continued improvement in the region’s unemployment rate suggests that the quickening pace of the national recovery will be matched locally,” Workforce Alliance CEO Steve Craig said. Workforce Alliance is the state-chartered organization that handles programs for the unemployed and other workers in Palm Beach County.

In Broward County, unemployment dropped to 7.2 percent from March’s 7.5 percent. A year ago, the rate sat at 8.8 percent. The number out of work:  70,551, down from 86,582 a year ago.

Sectors adding jobs statewide during the 12 months through April: private education and health services, up 24,200; trade, transportation and utilities, up 18,000; leisure and hospitality up 14,4000.

Three sectors shed jobs: construction, down 24,500; total government, down 11,800; information, down 700.

In Palm Beach County, five sectors added jobs: education and health services, up 2,100, professional and business services, up 1,100, trade, transportation utilities, up 700, construction, up 600 and government up 400 jobs.

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