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Puerto Rico gov’t allocates $25M+ for job creation, retention

A new phase of the Labor Department’s job portal aims to improve recruitment and support workforce diversity.

Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi and Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado-González have announced the allocation of more than $25 million to promote job creation and retention in public, private and municipal sectors for fiscal year 2025.

The initiative is part of the Work Opportunity Promotion Fund to support employment across the island. Additionally, a new phase of the Employment and Recruitment Portal to Facilitate Labor Integration (Perfil) was introduced. It enables employers to register, post job vacancies and recruit suitable candidates.

“The combined effect of the talent of our workforce, government investment in our infrastructure and support for the private sector, has fostered a renewed interest from local and foreign companies to expand and invest in Puerto Rico,” Pierluisi stated. 

He highlighted the impact of the minimum wage increase, training programs and the Work Tax Credit on improving labor force participation and encouraging “people to be part of our workforce.”

Pierluisi detailed that, “for the upcoming fiscal year, we have allocated over $25 million in funds aimed at continuing to support the creation and retention of jobs. From fiscal year 2021 to the present, the Labor and Human Resources Department has allocated over $68 million from the fund to private employers, including nonprofits, municipalities and agencies, to incentivize the creation and retention of more than 3,500 jobs.”

In the private sector, more than $23 million has supported 1,600 jobs among various employers, including small businesses and nonprofits. Additionally, more than $45 million has been used to create and retain some 2,200 municipal jobs, including first responders, caregivers, housekeepers and in government agencies.

The fund, established by Act 52 of 1991, is funded by a special contribution paid by employers covered by the Employment Security Act, equivalent to 1% of the taxable wages paid by the employer.

“The primary purpose of this law is to efficiently channel funds to help reduce unemployment, so the fund is primarily aimed at Unemployment Insurance beneficiaries and applicants registered with the Labor Department’s Employment Service,” Maldonado-González said. 

“On the other hand, it serves to support private and public employers in their efforts to recruit and retain talent while promoting employment opportunities for young people, the elderly, people with criminal records, the population with functional diversity and other groups and activities established by law,” the labor secretary added.

The fund targets various groups, promoting job opportunities in high-demand occupations and supporting high-productivity jobs, job retention and compensation adjustments as a temporary measure in cases that may lead to the potential loss of jobs.

The related press release emphasized that Pierluisi’s administration has seen “economic growth,” and “it is estimated that this will continue for the next 10 years.” It adds that “129,000 additional jobs have been created” and the unemployment rate is at a historic low of 5.7%. 

The second phase of PERFIL, now available, utilizes artificial intelligence to match employers with suitable candidates, facilitating the recruitment process and supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in employment.

Jobs portal now in its 2nd phase

During the event, it was announced that the second phase of the Employment and Recruitment Portal to Facilitate Labor Integration (Perfil, in Spanish) is now available. With artificial intelligence support, employers will receive recommendations for applicants matching the skills and experience they seek, allowing them to contact them directly to begin the evaluation process of potential candidates, even if those candidates have not applied for the position.

“In addition to providing funds for job creation and retention, at the Labor Department we continue to develop different tools that help companies in the recruitment process, while simplifying and increasing opportunities for people who are looking for a job,” Maldonado-González said. “Perfil is a free platform through which we seek to transform how our agency supports the recruitment and placement of employees in the private sector, while supporting diversity, equity and inclusion in the world of work.”

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