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Puerto Rico unemployment remains at historic low

According to the monthly statistical publications issued by Puerto Rico’s Labor and Human Resources Department (DTRH, in Spanish) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate on the island remains at 6.1%, ranking among the lowest in history and representing 18 consecutive months with a rate below 6.5%.

“The labor market statistics, along with other economic indicators produced by other agencies, demonstrate an increase in economic activity in virtually all industries,” Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado said. “When we observe trends and analyze the historical behavior of different sectors, the reality is that we continue to experience an economic upturn as a result of additional investments in the private sector and the outcome of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi’s vision and public policy.”

The cabinet official added that the “main challenge we face today is not job creation, as the economy already offers ample opportunities across different economic sectors, but rather addressing the integration and training of individuals who are fit and available to work and enter the labor market. That’s why at the DTRH, we are focused on transforming our agency to provide better service to workers and employers. We insist on designing strategies, in collaboration with other agencies and the private sector, to integrate thousands of people from the pool of 1.5 million citizens who, according to our data, are not part of the labor force for one reason or another.”

Employment trends
According to the employment and unemployment publication, which draws on the Worker Group Survey, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for June remained steady at 6.1%, the same as the previous month. The rate shows an increase of 0.3 percentage points from June 2022. The current figure is among the lowest in history and represents a decrease of 2.9 percentage points compared to January 2021.

On the other hand, the nonseasonally adjusted labor force participation rate for June 2023 was estimated at 42.5%, reflecting a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the previous month and a reduction of 0.1 percentage point compared to June 2022. The new rate represents an increase of 2.1 percentage points compared to January 2021 and is one of the highest since 2011.

For June 2023, the estimated total employed group, seasonally adjusted, consisted of some 1,180,000 people, a decrease of 9,000 individuals from the previous month, but an increase of 8,000 people compared to the same month last year. The number of people in the employed group is one of the highest since 2012.

The total employment, seasonally adjusted, was set at 1,107,000, which is 10,000 fewer employees than the previous month but 3,000 more than reported in June 2022. It is one of the highest total employment numbers since 2009.

Regarding seasonally adjusted unemployed individuals, the monthly statistics reflected a figure of 72,000 people, the same as the previous month, and 4,000 more than in June 2022. Like the unemployment rate, the number of unemployed individuals is one of the lowest in the island’s history.

Growth across sectors
The preliminary results of the monthly survey of nonfarm payroll employment showed a total of 942,300 jobs in June 2023, a decrease of 8,200 jobs compared to the previous month, primarily from the public sector and some private sector services related to the maintenance and security of schools due to the academic break. 

However, the new figure constitutes an increase of 21,700 jobs compared to June 2022. It is one of the highest numbers since 2012 and represents an additional 91,400 jobs compared to those reported in January 2021.

When evaluating wage jobs by industrial sector, the following figures stand out:

  • Mining, logging and construction: 37,300 (+8,600 since January 2021)
  • Manufacturing: 83,400 (+7,600 since January 2021)
  • Trade, transportation and utilities: 185,200 (+15,600 since January 2021)
  • Information: 16,900 (+2,300 since January 2021)
  • Financial activities: 47,400 (+3,900 since January 2021)
  • Professional and business services: 141,800 (+19,100 since January 2021)
  • Education and health services: 125,000 (+12,700 since January 2021)
  • Leisure and hospitality: 93,300 (+22,900 since January 2021 and a record number)
  • Other services: 19,200 (+2,200 since January 2021)
  • Federal, state and local government: 192,800 (-3,500 since January 2021)

Author Details
Author Details
This content was produced by News is my Business staff members. Send questions, comments, and suggestions to news@newsismybusiness.com.

1 Comment

  1. RA Fleming August 25, 2023

    In Puerto Rico, the headlines may boast a low unemployment rate, but the reality is more intricate. A substantial portion of the population remains outside the official statistics, posing questions about the island’s workforce dynamics. The numbers don’t tell the full story, as segments such as retirees, disabled individuals, and those who have chosen not to work are left unaccounted for. A look at the labor force participation rate, which stands at 41% compared to a global average exceeding 70%, sheds light on the complexities of Puerto Rico’s labor market. To read more about this topic, visit my page at https://fleminglex.com/the-so-called-historic-low-of-unemployment-in-puerto-rico/


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