The agency’s statistics shows that 34 states reported shrinking unemployment in March, while Puerto Rico’s most recent data shows an increasingly growing problem. Dropping jobless rates signify improvements in the economy.
The BLS takes its data from the Labor Department, putting the number of locally unemployed people at 2.1 million, or about 41 percent of the island’s population. Nevada, California, Florida and Rhode Island followed Puerto Rico as the states with the longest unemployment lines in the nation, the report showed.
In Florida, a state favored by Puerto Ricans moving stateside in search of a better life, the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 11.1 percent from the 11.3 percent reported for the same month in 2010. The drop is attributed to the fact that people who are unemployed have given up looking for work, so they are not included in the count.
Texas and Missouri reported adding jobs, while California, Louisiana, Maryland and Maine had negative job growth last month. Still, the national unemployment rate dropped to 8.8 percent, the lowest level reported in two years.