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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Number of jobs, salaries increased in 4Q 2023, Labor numbers show



Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González

By The Star Staff


The Industrial Composition Report Per Municipality corresponding to the fourth quarter of 2023 reflected an increase in jobs, salaries, average quarterly salary per worker, and number of establishments.


“This report, which is based on a census carried out on all the quarterly Unemployment Insurance returns filed by employers on our island, represents the reality of economic activity in Puerto Rico in a particular quarter of the year,” Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González said Thursday. “The fourth quarter of 2023 reflected a significant increase in all areas, resulting from strong public policy and multi-sector work in favor of economic development and job creation on our island.”


When comparing the newly reported numbers with the first quarter of 2021, the average employment increased at a rate of 112,820 jobs, or 13%, with an increase in total payroll paid of over $2 billion, or 39%, and an increase in the average quarterly salary earned per worker of $1,637, or +22%.


“There are also more employers or units reporting, at a rate of 7,013 additional units (+15%),” Maldonado González noted. “This exercise is equally positive when compared to other quarters and years.”


For the fourth quarter of 2023, the number of jobs in Puerto Rico was 960,700, which in turn was 7,414 more jobs than those reported during the fourth quarter of 2022. The industries with the highest average employment turned out to be retail trade with 135,274 jobs, public administration with 124,808 jobs, and health and social assistance services with 100,885 jobs, followed by the accommodation and food service sectors (89,966), educational services (86,346), manufacturing (84,276), administrative services and solid waste (83,212), professional and technical services (41,653), and construction (36,363).


The 10 municipalities that showed the highest average employment were San Juan (261,779), Guaynabo (57,220), Bayamón (55,948), Carolina (50,100), Ponce (48,226), Caguas (45,104), Mayagüez (31,548), Arecibo (23,439), Aguadilla (19,700) and Humacao (17,308).


The report also indicates that during the fourth quarter of 2023, total salaries paid by industries totaled $8,592,896,644. That figure reflects an increase of $345,549,322 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. The industries that recorded the highest total salaries were public administration ($1,191,263,935), health and social assistance services ($933,374,052), manufacturing ($923,139,936), retail trade ($906,286,906), educational services ($780,709,961), and professional and technical services ($581,587,150).


The average salary per worker, meanwhile, reached $8,944 during the fourth quarter of 2023, representing an additional $293 compared to the same period of the previous year. The industries with the highest average quarterly salaries were company and business management ($16,593); finance and insurance ($14,292); professional and technical services ($13,963); electricity, water and gas ($13,716); information ($12,616); wholesale trade ($12,070); manufacturing ($10,954); transportation and storage ($10,260); and public administration ($9,545).


As for the municipalities, the report details that the towns with the highest average quarterly salaries per worker were led by Juncos ($12,231), San Juan ($10,902), Guaynabo ($10,898), Maunabo ($10,765) and Aguadilla ($10,178).

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