The West Palm Beach economy is primarily powered by tourism. The West Palm Beach region is also bolstered by manufacturing of computers, electrical and electronic equipment, plastics, paint, jewelry and furniture. The region includes numerous industrial parks and high technology industries. Commercial fishing is also part of the economy. West Palm Beach's economy has been ranked #4 in the Milken Institute's best performing US cities index.
The county includes numerous industry clusters such as aerospace & engineering, communications & information technology, agriculture & food processing, medical & pharmaceutical products and business & financial services.
The major employment sectors in West Palm Beach include tourism, healthcare, construction, professional, scientific and technical services; finance and insurance and education. Many of the workers are employed in blue-collar professions including building maintenance, goods transportation and electrical repair. The city also has a large number of teachers, managers and nurses. West Palm Beach is the region's employment center.
Some of the most popular jobs in West Palm Beach that are primarily filled by workers with college degrees are registered nurses, wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives, teachers, accountants and auditors, lawyers, management analysts, computer programmers and personal financial advisors.
The major employers in the West Palm Beach area are shown below:
- Pratt & Whitney - Aerospace engineering
- Columbia PB Healthcare System
- Flo-Sun Inc
- Florida Power & Light
- Office Depot Headquarters
- Florida Crystals - Agriculture
- Palm Beach Newspapers - Newspaper publishing
- Southland Forming - Concrete contractors
- Thermo Electron North America - Professional equipment and supplies
- C Mac Packaging Systems - Paperboard mills
- Quality Concrete & Rental Inc - Concrete contractors
- Jet Aviation - Aviation
- Rinker Materials Corp - Concrete manufacturing
- Ranger Construction Industries - Highway construction
- Kimley-Horn - Engineering
Interesting data about West Palm Beach: About 27% of the residents over the age of 25 hold a bachelor's degree or better. In 2008 the cost of living index was 96.7. The nation's average is 100. The estimated median household income in 2007 was $45,000.
Business organizations providing assistance to West Palm Beach companies include:
- West Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce
- Business Development Board of Palm Beach County Inc
- Florida Economic Development Council Inc
The South Florida Business Journal offers up-to-date information about the business endeavors in West Palm Beach.