Coronavirus | Featured Stories

Jobless Numbers Improving in Palm Beach County, as COVID Cases Rise

New job numbers released last Friday show that unemployment in Florida was down 3.3 percent in June, according to the state.

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity said June’s unemployment rate was 10.4 percent, a decrease from the May rate of 13.7 percent.

Most of the state, except for South Florida, moved to Phase two last month, which allowed more businesses such as tattoo parlors, bowling alleys, massage, and tanning salons to reopen.

Numbers from the state show that Florida businesses gained 292,800 jobs during the last month. Nonetheless, private-sector jobs remained down 523,700 since last year.

In addition, several large hotels recently announced they are turning temporary furloughs from March into permanent layoffs at the end of this month.

The hospitality industry has lost more than one in five jobs in Florida since last year.

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, who represents southern Palm Beach County, explains that he is still hearing from the public.

“Every one of our offices has received so many calls from frustrated, outraged and frankly terribly-sad constituents of ours who are struggling so desperately,” says Deutch.

There has been growing speculation about officials halting reopening plans and restoring lockdowns in recent days.

Last Friday, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said the county commission would make a decision on whether to lock down the county again if the COVID-19 positivity rate does not decrease below 10 percent. It was at 12 percent on Friday

Meanwhile, South Florida Democratic members of Congress held a Zoom meeting on Friday to discuss the unemployment issues.

“We can help the Floridians whose economic welfare is being challenged as … we take steps to help all of Florida get back in position to stay healthy and save lives,” Deutch says.

For the second month, Palm Beach County is posting lower unemployment, even as COVID-19 cases rise here.

The state’s numbers  show that the county is currently among the top five areas for unemployment in Florida.

In June, unemployment in Palm Beach County was 10.4 percent as compared to 13.3 percent in May and 14.2 percent in April.

Only Orlando, Lakeland, Broward and Miami-Dade counties had higher June unemployment rates in Florida than Palm Beach County.