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New Jobs Report Offers Encouraging News for Palm Beach County

The coronavirus pandemic’s grip on the national economy seems to be weakening, at least slightly.

According to figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate dropped from 14.7 to 13.3 percent, or 21 million unemployed Americans, from last month to June.

Tom Veenstra, from CareerSource Palm Beach County, is surprised and encouraged by the new jobs report.

“This is the first bit of encouraging news we’ve had in months,” he says. “We hope that, that will translate to a state and county level when the new information comes out in two weeks.”

Meanwhile, Palm Beach County’s unemployment rose to a record 13.9 percent in April. At that time, Veenstra’s organization had about 300 local job openings. As of last Friday, he said the number is at 2,800 available positions.

“It’s showing us that things are beginning to reopen, rehiring and hiring is ramping up, and that’s encouraging,” he explains.

The latest unemployment numbers for Palm Beach County and the state are expected to be released on June 19.