Palm Beach job market stabilizes as wave of finance firms bet on area

Palm Beach job market stabilizes as wave of finance firms bet on area

opens in a new windowEbanner_Business Development Board of Palm Beach County

Writer: Felipe Rivas

Palm beach2 min read April 2021 — As the first quarter of 2021 comes to a close, Palm Beach County’s recovery looks promising, fueled by low unemployment rates and by a continuous wave of banking and finance companies flocking to the market.

A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the employment rate stood at 4.5% in February, after peaking at 14.7 percent last April, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve. The local jobless rate is lower than Florida’s rate of 4.7% and the national rate of 6%.  

Total nonagricultural employment in Palm Beach County is 617,700, adding 4,300 jobs since February, according to CareerSource Palm Beach County’s latest monthly report. 

The combination of federal relief, increased consumer spending and expanded vaccine distribution are among the factors fueling employment stabilization in the market, CarreSource’s report said. The education and healthcare sectors posted 3,100 new jobs in Q1 and the professional and business sectors added 400 new jobs through the course of 2020, the report said. 

“This is very good news for the nearly 618,000 working people and their families, with job gains in all of the top five key industry sectors indicating that recovery continues to build momentum,” CareerSource Palm Beach County President and CEO Julia Dattolo said in a press release. 

The county’s reputation as the Wall Street of the South has further attracted financial firms throughout the pandemic, many of them committing to long-term leases in key submarkets such as Boca Raton, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. About 2,500 financial service firms employ about 33,000 people in the county, the South Florida Business Journal noted. 

Finance industry giant Goldman Sachs Group has reportedly opened dozens of South Florida-based positions, according to the South Florida Business Journal. 

Led by billionaire Paul Singer and with $41 billion under management, Elliott Management Corp is among the newest financial institutions calling Palm Beach County home, according to the South Florida Business Journal. The company reportedly is relocating away from Manhattan into the heart of West Palm Beach and the posh 360 Rosemary live, work and play district. 

Similarly, veteran focused-mortgage lender NewDay USA will open a second headquarters in West Palm Beach. Slated to bring 600 jobs to the region, NewDay USA will join Elliott Management in the 360 Rosemary District. Hailed as a key victory for West Palm Beach and the county at large, NewDay USA is expected to become one of the largest employers in the city. “NewDay USA’s commitment to growth and job creation will bolster our vision of creating a community of opportunity for all,” West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said in a press release. “We are proud to be NewDay’s newest home and a place where everyone — especially our cherished veterans — can realize their dreams. We look forward to NewDay USA’s valuable work and positive economic impact on our community.”

The financial institutions coming into the market are banking on the long-term success of the industry and Palm Beach County. “Executives of companies relocating to Palm Beach County are signing eight- to 10-year leases,” said Business Development Board President and CEO Kelly Smallridge, according to the South Florida Business Journal. “This is not a temporary trend. Executives are purchasing homes, enrolling their children in school and becoming involved in the community.”

Reportedly, the Business Development Board is actively working on more financial institution relocations or expansions. An additional 20 companies are expected to make expansion announcements by the end of 2021, according to the South Florida Business Journal. 

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