Saturday, January 11, 2014

Desperate Job Seekers in South Florida

First, a brief recap:

Now consider this: On April 1, 2000 the U.S. population was 281.4 million when the labor force participation rate peaked at 67.3% in April of 2000 (now it's 62.8%) and the employment-population ratio peaked at 64.7% in April 2000 (now it's 58.6%). In 2014 the U.S. population is now 317.3 million

From the Economic Populist:

"The United States is now down -1.165 million jobs from December 2007, a full six years ago. The EPI just performed an analysis showing America is really down 7.9 million jobs to return to pre-recession employment levels due to increased population growth over the last six years....The terrible employment situation has been going on for six years with no end in sight."

Jobs lost and gained

West Palm Beach is a city of a little over 100,000 in South Florida. It's just 4 miles away from Rush Limbaugh's beachfront mansion to the East in Palm Beach.

West Palm Beach skyline

Palm Beach County unemployment rate

Last Thursday thousands of unemployed Americans flocked to a job fair to fill out applications for jobs at a new 84-acre West Palm Beach mall called Palm Beach Outlets.

The new mall is slated to open on Valentine's Day with 100 stores offering mostly low-paying jobs in the retail sector, and range from "sales associates" to managers.

Palm Beach Outlets

The job seekers had gripped their rain-soaked umbrellas outside Northwood University, waiting in line for hours, just to meet face to face with potential employers at the job fair.

A much larger than anticipated crowd had showed up --- more than 5,000 desperate people stood in line from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m to fill out job applications for 1,500 full and part-time jobs. (Is the unemployment rate in Palm Beach Country really only 6.4 percent?)

The line to get into the job fair wrapped around the building for much of the morning. By noon, police blocked off the entrance because all the parking spots were filled. Job seekers had to park elsewhere and walk back as police directed traffic along Military Trail.

Palm Beach Outlets General Manager Jim Roberts said the new mall will open in two phases. About 100 stores will open in February, while the second phase will be in the fall.

On-line job applications for the new mall are here at Indeed.Com

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