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Puerto Rico’s labor market grew significantly in 2022

The “Industrial Composition by Municipality” report for the fourth quarter of 2022 reflected an increase in all indicators, specifically, employed individuals, total wages, average wage per worker and number of establishments in Puerto Rico, compared to the previous quarter, Labor Secretary Gabriel Maldonado announced.

“This report presents the state of the labor market for a particular quarter of the year, based on information derived from quarterly payroll reports for unemployment insurance submitted by employers to our agency,” Maldonado explained. “In other words, it is not statistical information based on a sample, but rather real and compelling data that, in turn, validates the statistical data and historically positive trends that we publish monthly. When comparing the first quarter of 2021 with the recently reported fourth quarter of 2022, there is an increase of 105,406 jobs, over $2 billion in total wages paid.

“Similarly, there was an increase of $1,344 in average wages earned per worker and 3,732 additional establishments. In short, regardless of the data source used, all labor market indicators demonstrate a noticeable improvement under the administration of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi,” the official said.

For the fourth quarter of 2022, the average employment in Puerto Rico amounted to 953,286, which represents an additional 36,257 jobs compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. The 10 industries with the highest average employment were: retail trade (134,871), public administration (122,407), health care and social assistance services (99,966), administrative services and solid waste (89,044), lodging and food services (85,478), educational services (85,333), manufacturing (82,991), professional and technical services (41,099), construction (34,618), and wholesale trade (34,019). 

The 10 municipalities with the highest average employment were: San Juan (256,902), Bayamón (56,338), Guaynabo (56,257), Carolina (51,081), Ponce (47,594), Caguas (46,784), Mayagüez (31,145), Arecibo (22,618), Aguadilla (19,393) and Humacao (17,874).

The report also indicates that, during the last quarter of 2022, the total wages paid by industries amounted to $8,247,347,322. This reflects an increase of $557,297,782 compared to the fourth quarter of 2021. The industries that recorded the highest total wage amounts were: public administration ($1,305,179,432), manufacturing ($864,022,582), retail trade ($847,523,806), health care and social assistance services ($845,293,604), educational services ($762,703,682), and professional and technical services ($549,200,133).

Examining the average wage per worker during the fourth quarter of 2022, it reached $8,651, which represents an additional $265 compared to the same period of the previous year. The industries with the highest average wages were company and enterprise management ($14,698); electricity, water and gas ($14,589); finance and insurance ($13,798); professional and technical services ($13,363); information ($11,761); wholesale trade ($11,724); public administration ($10,663); manufacturing ($10,411); and transportation and storage ($10,023). 

The municipalities with the highest quarterly average wages per worker were Juncos ($16,205), Guaynabo ($10,581), San Juan ($10,456), and Aguadilla ($10,105).

With regard to the total number of establishments, the report showed a total of 50,844 for the last quarter of 2022, representing an increase of 2,658 establishments compared to the previous period. 

The industries that reported the highest number of establishments were retail trade (9,281), health care and social assistance services (7,915), professional and technical services (5,848), lodging and food services (5,428), other services except public administration (3,567), and construction (2,572).

These data were obtained from the quarterly reports submitted by employers covered under the Puerto Rico Employment Security Act.

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

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