COVID-19 Shutdowns Push Palm Beach County Jobless Rate To Record High

Palm Beach County's unemployment rate reached a record high of 13.9 percent in April, reflecting the harsh employment impact of the COVID-19 crisis, according to the new figures released on Friday by the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

The county's rate for April 2019 was 3.0 percent and was 4.4 percent in March.

Florida's April unemployment rate is 12.9 percent.

The county's previous highest unemployment rate reached nearly 12 percent during the Great Recession in summer 2010.

The county's record low unemployment rate -- 2.7 percent - seems a distant memory, although it occurred just four months earlier.

The highest jobless rate in the state could be found in Osceola County, home to much of the Walt Disney World Resort, which has been closed since mid-March. The rate there: 20.3 percent. Orange County, home to portions of Walt Disney World, as well as Universal Studios and SeaWorld, has an April unemployment rate of 16.5 percent, showing how much of an affect the coronavirus crisis has had on Florida's tourism sector.

In fact, the industry losing the most jobs over the year was leisure and hospitality, bleeding 520,000 positions from April 2019 to April 2020, for a decline of 41.5 percent.

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