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Survey shows steady hiring outlook for Q1 in Puerto Rico

Staffing firm ManpowerGroup has released its latest Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) for the first quarter  of 2024, showing that the net employer hiring outlook in Puerto Rico is 33%, a 3% decrease from the previous quarter.

Nevertheless, ManpowerGroup for Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic’s general manager, Melissa Rivera-Roena, said that Puerto Rico remains eighth in the global ranking.

She also pointed out that Puerto Rico exceeds the global average (26%) of employers’ hiring expectations, consistent with each quarter of the last year. The first quarter shows a seven-point increase compared to the same period in 2023 (26%).

“It is positive that employers in Puerto Rico continue to show very strong intentions to hire employees because it indicates that they want to continue growing their businesses,” Rivera-Roena said. “We need to focus efforts to achieve these jobs in the face of an ever-increasing talent shortage. Ongoing transformations and adaptations are necessary to meet the needs of job seekers.”

Rivera-Roena said the survey results indicated that companies in the southern region of the island have the highest hiring expectations (57%), followed by the western area at 50%, the central region at 41%, and the east at 22%. The northern and metropolitan areas have the lowest projections, at 14% and 7%, respectively.

Regarding company size,  the general manager explained that the strongest hiring expectations are within medium-sized companies (50-249 employees), at 69%, and micro-businesses (1-10 employees), at 36%, followed by large companies (1,000-4,999 employees) at 35%.    

The sectors with the highest hiring intentions in Puerto Rico for the first quarter of 2024 are communication services (74%), up 16 percentage points since last quarter and 66 points since the first quarter of 2023. Other sectors with high labor demands this quarter are information technology (64%), and in third place, manufacturing (49%).

“For the first quarter of 2024, all nine economic sectors measured by the survey predict positive hiring intentions, and all regions of Puerto Rico anticipate an increase in staffing levels,” said Alberto Alesi, director of ManpowerGroup for Mexico and Central America.

Mónica Flores, president of ManpowerGroup for Latin America, said that the most sought-after positions in Puerto Rico are within information technology and data analysis, operations and logistics, sales and marketing, human resources, and customer service.

“In Puerto Rico, we continue with high hiring expectations amid a persistent talent shortage. Training and updating are key tools to maintaining and adapting talent that is ready for the future of work,” Rivera-Roena emphasized.

The general manager stressed that inclusion, diversity, soft skills, artificial intelligence, managing different generations in the workplace and continuous learning “are not trendy topics; they are imperative in today’s work environment.”

“Embracing them is essential not only for transforming organizational culture but also for retaining and attracting the most suitable minds to our ranks,” Rivera-Roena said. 

She also noted that labor trends in Puerto Rico reflect challenges in incorporating AI when considering the jobs available in that area, training personnel to take advantage of technology and understanding which skills need updating. 

Furthermore, at least 47% of employers believe technical skills must evolve to support more sustainable practices for green transformation.

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