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Puerto Rico reports historic employment rates

According to the labor market statistics for April — published by the Puerto Rico Labor and Human Resources Department, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics — the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate on the island continues to reflect historic and stable numbers, remaining at 6%, the same as last month as well as April last year.

“We have had 13 consecutive months with a historic unemployment rate of 6% or lower, which is an indisputable reflection of our economy’s strength and the achievements under the leadership of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, seen through the lens of the labor market,” said the island’s Labor Department secretary, Gabriel Maldonado-González.

“On the other hand, we have the highest levels of nonfarm payroll employment since August 2009, despite the population decline that has affected our island for over a decade,” the secretary said. “When looking at specific industries, we highlight that the recreation and accommodation sector has set a new historical record in its employment levels, while the construction sector continues to rise, consistent with the progress of reconstruction projects funded by the federal government.”

The non-seasonally adjusted labor force participation rate for March was estimated at 43%, a decrease of 0.6 percentage points compared to February and 0.7 percentage points compared to April 2022.

As for the number of unemployed individuals, the seasonally adjusted figure stood at 72,000 people in April 2023. This figure represented a decrease of 1,000 people compared to March 2023, and there were no changes compared to April 2022.

In April this year, the estimated seasonally adjusted labor force was 1,198,000 people. This estimate indicated a decrease of 4,000 individuals compared to March, but an increase of 5,000 compared to April 2022.

Meanwhile, the number of employed individuals in Puerto Rico for April 2023, seasonally adjusted, was 1,126,000. This figure represents a reduction of 4,000 people compared to the previous month, but an increase of 5,000 employees compared to April 2022. Self-employment reached 199,000, one of the highest figures in Puerto Rico’s history for that category.

Employment statistics
Nonfarm payroll employment, seasonally adjusted, was 950,400 in April. Compared to March, there was an increase of 4,800 jobs. Compared to April 2022, there was an increase of 35,700 salaried jobs.

All industrial sectors reported an increase in employment compared to the previous month, except for manufacturing, which saw a minor reduction, while the finance sector remained unchanged. Year-on-year, all sectors showed increases, except for the information sector, which experienced a decrease in its employment level.

Secretary points to positive indicators in New York
During the PRNOW 2023 New York Forum, which was held in Manhattan by Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF, in Spanish), Maldonado-González highlighted the labor market numbers as well as the government’s strategies to integrate more people into the workforce and increase participation in the labor force.

“It is important for the whole world to know firsthand about the achievements we have made for the benefit of the people of Puerto Rico, with historic numbers and other [milestones] that we have not experienced in over a decade,” Maldonado-González added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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