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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Unemployment rate remains steady at 6%

Labor and Human Resources Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González

By The Star Staff

The most recent employment and unemployment statistics for March revealed that the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Puerto Rico remains stable at 6%, Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish initials) Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González announced late last week.

“This rate did not represent a change when compared to February 2023, but marked a 0.2 percentage point decrease when compared to the same date last year, March 2022, when the rate stood at 6.2 percent,” the labor secretary said in a written statement. “When compared to January 2021, it represents a decrease of three percentage points.”

Maldonado González noted that according to the DTRH’s Employment and Unemployment publication, which uses data from the Worker Group Survey, the non-seasonally adjusted labor participation rate for March 2023 was estimated at 43.6%, for a decrease of 0.5 percentage points both monthly and year-on-year, but represents an increase of 3.2 percentage points when compared to January 2021.

In making the announcement, the official emphasized the importance of the stability seen in Puerto Rico’s labor market at a time when the economy is in full recovery, after a fiscal crisis, natural disasters of great impact such as hurricanes, earthquakes, the coronavirus pandemic and other factors.

“The statistics we publish in the DTRH are essential for the planning, decision-making and the development of our economy,” Maldonado González said. “As we saw throughout 2022, for the third consecutive month of 2023, the monthly statistics we compile in conjunction with the [federal] Bureau of Labor Statistics … reflect a positive, stable and solid trend in the labor market … and allow the development of long- and short-term work plans for various sectors. We remain focused on drawing up strategies to continue increasing labor participation at a time when our economic activity demands it, as evidenced by the large amount of labor supply in all industrial sectors.”

As for the number of citizens who are unemployed, the seasonally adjusted figure stood at 73,000 people in March. That figure represents no change when compared to February 2023, but indicates a decrease of 1,000 people compared to the same date for March 2022 (74,000), while when compared to January 2021 the decrease was 27,000 citizens.

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