Puerto Rico’s jobless rate drops to 6.5% in March — a record low, Labor Dept. says
The Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources released data from the Employment and Unemployment that indicate that in March 2022, the unemployment rate decreased and set a record of 6.5%, a figure lower than the 6.8% reported in February 2022 and the 8.2% in March 2021.
There has also been an increase in the number of people employed on the island — the highest since 2009 — with 1,137,000 people employed, 5,000 more than in February this year and 90,000 more compared to the same date last year.
“We continue working to produce reliable metrics that allow us to plan and study our market to identify new opportunities and strategic alliances for professional and economic development for all Puerto Ricans,” said Puerto Rico Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado-González.
Meanwhile, the labor participation rate stood at 44.4% for the month of March 2022, or 2.5% more than that reported for that same month in 2021. The working group showed an increase of 77,000 people year-over-year, the agency noted.
The Labor Department’s Non-Agricultural Salaried Employment publication reflected an increase of 2,000 employed people compared to the same date last February and an additional 47,200 versus those reported on the same date of the previous year, standing at 908,200 workers in March 2022
According to the data collected, the increase in jobs was sustained in March, as in February, in the hotel and restaurant industries, followed by the education, health and manufacturing sectors.
Certifications now available in-person
In related news, the agency announced that Puerto Rico residents will be able to request certifications in-person at the Labor Department’s Hato Rey headquarters from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Tax, Temporary Non-Occupational Disability Insurance (SINOT, in Spanish) and Driver Insurance divisions will begin to operate at the Expedited Center for Certifications and Information.
The Tax office will issue certifications of no debt and will receive payments in installments and quarterly but filing of forms must be done through the Department’s employer website, the agency noted.
Regarding SINOT, agency employees will provide orientation to employers, claimants and insurers on the “Temporary Disability Benefits Law,” as well as receive claimants for the processing of benefit cases, among others.
The Driver Insurance division will provide services to collect quarterly taxes from employers and will work on benefit claims, additionally to providing debt certifications for employers.
The services of the Employment Security Bureau continue to be provided as usual in their local offices throughout the island and those who require service must request an appointment through the agency’s website.