The economy of Palm Beach County has been somewhat unstable in recent years. The closure of W.R.Grace and Company in 2011 cost 130 jobs, while two mall closures in 1997 and 2010 further destabilized the market. The good news is the economy seems to be bouncing back, with the job market being at its best in six years as of 2014. Employment opportunities within the county come mainly from the white collar sector, with a technology market rapidly developing in West Palm Beach City and a brand new Outlet opened recently generating lots of job positions.
When structuring your job search in the Palm Beach County area, it is important to consider both your skill set and experience. Employers of foreigners hoping to begin working in Palm Beach will be required to justify their employment on visa documents, so tailor your search to relevant opportunities. Do not be afraid to apply speculatively to employers, the market is recovering now and even if they do not have a job immediately, they may be impressed with your initiative and able to advise on upcoming positions.
Do not underestimate the value of existing contacts when searching for a job abroad. Keep your ear to the ground and make sure your US connections are aware of your desire to move to Palm Beach — you’d be surprised what you can pick up through word-of-mouth. Online job boards are another fantastic resource: look at both local and international postings. If you are invited to an interview, be honest on your visiting visa when entering the country. If customs officials believe you are deliberately misleading them, they can use discrepancies on a temporary visa to deny you a permanent visa or re-entry to the US should you get the job.
Be aware that foreigners, like US citizens, are generally obliged to pay Social Security taxes. These are deducted automatically by your employer and are used to fund pensions and benefits. If you have any questions or concerns about you Social Security payments once you are established and working in Palm Beach, Social Security Administration (SSA) Offices can provide information and advice by appointment or over the phone. SSA services in the Palm Beach County area are limited, but representatives can be found in the libraries in Lontana and Palm Beach Gardens, while a full office service is offered in West Palm Beach city itself.
A move to a foreign country can be a daunting prospect. With its established and lively expatriate community, beautiful beaches, great weather and a wealth of tourist attractions, Palm Beach County has a huge amount to offer providing you are not afraid to do your research and find the best job, location and lifestyle, for you and your family.