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P.R. jobless rate drops to 15% in Feb., workforce stands at 40.3%

Labor Secretary Miguel Romero

Labor Department statistics released over the weekend put Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate at 15 percent for the month of February, reflecting a 0.1 percentage point drop in comparison to the prior month’s level and a 1.2 percentage drop decrease from the 16.2 percent rate on record for February 2011.

Similarly, the agency stated that there were 194,000 unemployed last month, which represented a decrease of 1,000 people compared to January’s 195,000 total jobless. It also represented 12,000 fewer unemployed people when compared with the same month last year, which was 206,000.

“These figures are showing that the economy is improving and the economic recovery continues gradually, step-by-step,” Labor Secretary Miguel Romero said.

In terms of employment figures, there were 1,097,000 people on the payroll, which represents an increase of 29,000 when compared to the same month last year. The seasonally unadjusted participation rate for February 2012 stood at 40.3 percent. Compared to January 2012 (40.7 percent) and February 2011 (40.6 percent), the most recent statistics represents a reduction of 0.4 and 0.3 percentage points, respectively.

Regarding the Establishment Survey, the agency reported that the Nonfarm Payroll Employment in Puerto Rico was 925,700. This figure implies an increase of 2,400 compared with employment recorded for, January 2012 of 923,300. When compared with February 2011’s total 924,100, employment showed an increase of 1,600.

The sectors that recorded increases were: professional Services (4,400); trade, transportation and utilities (800); manufacturing (700); finance (300); and education and health services (200).

On the other hand, sectors recording employment drops were: government (2,300); mining, logging and construction (1,300); and recreation and lodging (700).

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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