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Puerto Rico jobless rate at 15.2% in Jan., up slightly YOY

Labor Secretary Vance Thomas (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Labor Secretary Vance Thomas (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate reached 15.2 percent in January, up slightly from the 14.6 percent on record for the same month in 2013, but down marginally from the 15.4 percent the Department of Labor and Human Resources confirmed for December 2013.

Agency statistics released Monday showed there were 181,000 jobless people on the island in January — about 4,000 fewer when compared to the prior month and about 4,000 more vs. the same month last year.

Meanwhile, the island’s workforce in January was pegged at 1,191,000 people, or about 41.1 percent, representing a 0.7 percentage point drop when compared to December 2013, and a 0.6 percentage point drop in the year-over-year same month comparison.

Upon releasing the numbers, government officials provided their interpretations of the results, painting a mostly positive picture.

Labor Secretary Vance Thomas said along with the “drop in unemployment, in recent weeks there has been a significant increase in job opportunities due to the different job creation and recruitment being offered.”

“For example, in two weeks, the ‘@TweetMyJobs’ platform placed about 2,000 job offers ranging from service to well-paid specialized positions,” he said. “Another platform that’s very active is ‘@empleoenpr,’ which also posted about 1,000 job offers,” he said. “That’s aside from the job offers published by the Labor Development Administration and job placement agencies.”

Meanwhile, Economic Development and Commerce Secretary Alberto Bacó said “positive trends” are evident in the areas of services and tourism.

February unemployment figures will be released at the end of this month, the Lbor Department said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 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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