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ManpowerGroup survey shows drop in Puerto Rico hiring expectations

The telecommunications sector leads with a 31% hiring outlook for the third quarter.

The latest ManpowerGroup’s Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) showed that employers in Puerto Rico reported a net hiring expectation of 8% for the third quarter (Q3) of the year, a decrease of 6 percentage points compared to the previous quarter and 27 points compared to the same period last year.

Melissa Rivera-Roena, general manager for ManpowerGroup in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, explained that 40% of employers do not expect to make changes in their workforce, 33% expect to increase it, 25% consider reducing it, and 2% do not know what will happen in 3Q, resulting in a net trend of 8%.

She further noted that the sector with the highest hiring trend for 3Q will be telecommunications, “with a perspective of 31%.” That percentage decreased by 16 points from the last quarter but reflects an increase of 13 points compared to the same period last year. The second sector with the highest expectations is transportation, logistics and automotive services (18%). 

Employers in the manufacturing sector expressed a trend of 9%. Meanwhile, in the life sciences and health and information technology sectors, there is no expectation of hiring this quarter.

“We have come from very high numbers of hiring expectations in 2023, but since the beginning of this year, we have seen a stabilization according to the responses of the employers,” Rivera-Roena said. “Inflation and high interest rates may be influencing the plans of Puerto Rican employers. It is important that the economic sectors analyze this trend.”

Rivera-Roena explained that the more than 500 employers who participated in the survey responded that the hiring expectation by region for the next quarter will be higher in the north (32%), followed by the metro area (15%) and the center (10%). The results for the other regions are as follows: east (9%), west (-6%), and south (-7%).

The human resources specialist said that the highest hiring expectations will be in small companies with 10-49 employees (20%) and medium-sized companies with 50-249 workers (15%).

She said that Puerto Rico was below the global average, which is 22% of hiring expectations for Q3.

“We expect a conservative third quarter in terms of employment for all the sectors analyzed and we see that the northeast and northwest regions lead expectations at the Puerto Rico level,” said Beatriz Robles, director of operations and the person responsible for the Manpower brand for Latin America.

Expectations in LatAm
“Employers in Costa Rica (35%), Mexico (32%) and Guatemala (32%) report the most optimistic hiring intentions in the entire Latin American region for the third quarter of 2024,” said Mónica Flores, president for Latin America at ManpowerGroup.

The sectors with the highest expectations in Latin America are telecommunications services (30%), information technology (29%), and finance and real estate (28%). Globally, Latin America is leading the way in hiring intentions, with Costa Rica leading the way.

“Mexico ranks second in the Latin American region for its hiring expectations, 10 points above the global average,” Flores concluded.

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