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  • The San Juan Daily Star

Employment continues upward trend in November

Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González

By John McPhaul

November 2022 closed with a decrease in the non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, thus placing it at 6.2%, according to data extracted from the Employment and Unemployment Report issued by the island Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish initials).

This decrease was 0.3 percentage point when compared to last October, when it stood at 6.5%. If compared against November 2021 (7.3%) and January 2021 (9.1%), the difference is 1.1 and 2.9 percentage points, respectively, consistent with the historical trend seen throughout 2022, as reported by DTRH Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González, who highlighted the figures with optimism and assured that the drop in unemployment and increase in labor participation will continue to bring stability to the local economy.

“We continue to experience favorable numbers for the labor market in Puerto Rico, with levels of labor participation and employment not seen for a decade,” Maldonado González said in a written statement.

The non-seasonally adjusted labor participation rate in November 2022 was estimated at 44.4%, for an increase of 1.1 percentage point compared to October 2022, when it was 43.3% and 4 percentage points when compared to January 2021. In contrast, the estimate of the non-seasonally adjusted working group was 1,216,000 people. That meant an increase of 30,000 people compared to October 2022 (1,186,000). The comparison with November 2021 (1,216,000), meanwhile, showed no change in the size of the working group, but when compared to January 2021 (1,111,000) an increase of 105,000 people who are now part of the labor force is seen.

The number of people employed in Puerto Rico for November 2022, not seasonally adjusted, was 1,140,000. That figure is equivalent to 31,000 more people when compared to October 2022 (1,109,000). Compared to November 2021 (1,128,000), the level of employment registered an increase of 12,000 citizens. When compared to January 2021 (1,010,000), the increase is 130,000 people employed.

Meanwhile, according to the seasonally adjusted data of the publication of non-agricultural salaried employment, corresponding to November 2022, a monthly increase of 4,200 was shown.

The industries that registered monthly increases in employment were: government (1,900), education and health services (900), finance (700), and recreation and accommodation (700). Similarly showing increases were mining, logging and construction (200); manufacturing (100); and trade, transportation and utilities (100). The sector that showed lower growth was professional and commercial services (400). Those that did not reflect changes were information and other services.

Compared to the previous year, all sectors registered increases.

“Although much remains to be done to meet the current demand that employers have on our island, the statistical data we collect month after month allows the DTRH and other state and federal agencies, as well as the private sector, to draw up additional strategies to achieve part of the over 1.5 million people who are currently outside the working group to the different industries that require so much labor,” the Labor chief said. “We must maximize the potential of working women, people with functional diversity, those who receive government aid, ex-convicts, young people and older adults who continue to be of productive age, among other groups skilled at working who are part of our society.”

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