Palm Beach Business & Economy

Image Courtesy of Antoine Gady
Image Courtesy of Antoine Gady

Palm Beach County has the most intriguing diversity of major industries anywhere in the United States.  Along with the industries that originally built the Palm Beaches, agribusiness, and leisure, are a strong science-based component.

These areas include aerospace, life sciences and health sciences, a technology component in clean tech, IT/telecommunications, a business and trade component in financial and equity services, manufacturing, distribution and logistics, and the equestrian industry which is one of the county’s most distinctive economic sectors. As a seaside county, bordered on the west by the second largest freshwater lake in the lower 48 states, Palm Beach County also has an important marine industry.

The diversity of these industries is directly supported by the highly diverse and skilled talent pool, drawn to the county by exceptional prospects. With no state income tax and low sales and property taxes, Floridians have among the highest incomes in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau reports a median household income of $52,432. The county added an average of nearly 1,100 jobs per month in 2015, reflecting strong economic growth.

Palm Beach County offers many advantages to workers and employers alike, with an excellent infrastructure, the cultural advantages of a much larger urban area, and abundant outdoor activities, the quality of life allows people a huge range of choices for both living and working. Employers have many options for choosing locations, from urban centers to agricultural acres, and everything in between.

Diverse Workforce

Palm Beach County is Florida’s third most populous, with nearly 1.4 million people and a growth rate projected by the state to be 6.3 percent between 2015 and 2020. Although the perception outside the state is that Florida’s residents are primarily retired and elderly, the median age in the Palm Beaches is 44. Workers in Palm Beach county have an above average high school graduation rate of 87.7 percent, and 33 percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Those holding college degrees remain in high demand across the county, making it an attractive option for both young graduates and more experienced mid-career and executive personnel.

Palm Beach County also offers a significant Spanish-speaking population of nearly 12 percent, a tremendous advantage for businesses in international trade, or seeking to enter Cuba as the marketplace there opens during the next decade.

Job Growth

With all the activity in Palm Beach County, it is not surprising that the job outlook is highly positive. In contrast to other Florida counties, the Palm Beaches are adding more professional and business jobs than service jobs. In October 2015 the Palm Beach Post reported that business and professional jobs were up by 6,600 positions, followed by education and health services (3,200 jobs). Leisure and hospitality added 1,800 jobs, and that is expected to rise as the ongoing drop in gas prices, predicted to be long-term, drives an increase in tourism and boating activities. The same article reported that wages are up, especially for technology, accounting and finance professionals.

Major Industries

The Palm Beach Business Development Board has identified thirteen industry clusters, whose grouping of interrelated businesses compliment each other and are economic drivers for the county.

1. Agribusiness

2. Aviation

3. Aerospace

4. Engineering

5. Business and Financial Services

6. Clean Tech

7. Distribution and Logistics

8. Equestrian

9. Healthcare

10. IT and Telecommunications

11. Life Sciences

12. Manufacturing

13. Marine Industry

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