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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Jobless claims up 23% over year-ago, while labor participation rate rises, inflation drops

By The Star Staff

Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate increased to 6.1% in the third quarter (3Q) of 2023, which ended Sept. 30, up from 5.8% in 3Q22.

The information is contained in the latest macroeconomic indicators report from the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (AAFAF by its Spanish initials) this week.

Claims for unemployment insurance rose by 22.9% in the 3Q23 from the same quarter in 2022 to a weekly average of 1,632, while the labor force participation rate increased by 3.2% to 43.7%, the report said.

The inflation rate, however, decreased to 2.9% in 3Q23 from 6.6% in 3Q22, according to the report.

The AAFAF report includes information on several macroeconomic indicators sorted into 10 separate categories, including economic activity, employment and wages, exports and emigration, business growth, manufacturing, tourism, housing and real estate, poverty and state and federal programs, human capital, and macroeconomic growth factors. The data was gathered at varying periods and then compared to results from a year before.

Other changes in the island’s indicators that occurred in 3Q23 compared to 3Q22 included a 15.2% increase in the number of bankruptcies and an 8.9% decrease in public spending on disaster recovery. Cement sales increased 5.2% and automobile sales increased 18.4% in 3Q23 compared to 3Q22.

Meanwhile, in 2Q23, ended June 30, exports increased 1.5% over 2Q23 and imports grew by 1%, the report indicated. The number of cruise passengers increased 110.3% in 2Q23 compared with 2Q22.

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