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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Labor chief: Data confirms jobs increase since January 2021

Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González

By The Star Staff

Island Labor and Human Resources (DTRH) Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González announced Wednesday that data from the latest quarterly unemployment insurance returns confirm, in his opinion, an increase in employment levels since January 2021.

“This report presents the state of the labor market for a particular quarter of the year, based on information that emerges from the quarterly forms for Unemployment Insurance that are presented by employers to our agency. That is, it is not statistical information based on a sample, but real and hard data, which in turn validates the statistical data and historically positive trends that we publish monthly,” Maldonado González said in a written statement. “When comparing the first quarter of 2021 with the newly reported fourth quarter of 2022, it shows an increase of 105,406 jobs, of 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.”

The Labor secretary noted that for the fourth quarter of 2022, the average employment in Puerto Rico totaled 953,286 jobs, which is 36,257 additional jobs compared to those reported during the fourth quarter of 2021. The 10 industries with the highest average employment turned out to be: retail trade (134,871), public administration (122,407), health and social assistance services (99,966), administrative services and solid waste (89,044), accommodation 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 that reflected the highest average employment are grouped as follows: 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).

Maldonado González added that the average salary per worker during the fourth quarter of 2022 reached $8,651, which represents an additional $265 when compared to the same period of the previous year. The industries with the highest average salaries were company and business management, at $14,698; electricity, water and gas, $14,589; finance and insurance, $13,798; professional and technical services, $13,363; information, $11,761; wholesale, $11,724; public administration, $10,663; manufacturing, $10,411; and transportation and storage, $10,023.

As for the municipalities, the report details that the municipalities with the highest average quarterly salaries per worker were Juncos, at $16,205, Guaynabo, $10,581; San Juan, $10,456 and Aguadilla, $10,105.

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