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Puerto Rico’s Economy Adds 23,000 New Jobs Year-To-Year Island’s August Jobless Rate Lowest Since 1969


September 21, 2000
Copyright © 2000 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The number of persons employed in Puerto Rico for August 2000 totaled 1,146,000, according to the most recent household survey conducted by the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources.

This is the highest figure ever registered for the month of August since the statistical series began in 1947, according to figures provided by the Department of Labor and Human Resources.

The employment figure represents a significant increase of 23,000 new jobs compared to August 1999 (1,123,000). However, the number of persons employed edged down by 38,000, compared to the 1,184,000 registered in July 2000.

The island’s unemployment rate–the percentage of people in the work force who are looking for jobs–was estimated at 11.2%, the lowest jobless rate for an August since the 10.1% registered in 1969. The rate was 12.1% in August 1999.

In contrast, the August unemployment rate was higher than the 10.0% registered in July 2000.

As the August survey points out, the unemployment rate was much higher among male workers (13.4%) than female workers (8.1%).

The number of persons in the civilian labor force–comprise of the employed plus the unemployed– rose by 13,000 to 1,291,000 in August 2000, compared to 1,278,000 in August 1999.

From August 1999 to August 2000, the labor force participation rate–the proportion of the population age 16 and older currently working or seeking jobs–was steady at 45.5%. Month-to-month, the participation rate decreased from 46.4% in July 2000 to 45.5% in August 2000.

For a month of August the average participation rate was 46.4% for the 1990-2000 period.

The number of self-employed persons for August 2000 was estimated in 160,000. This represents a decrease of 1,000 persons when compared with August 1999 (159,000). For July 2000, the number of self-employed persons reached 164,000.

The number of persons who were outside of the labor force in August totaled 1,546,000–an increase of 15,000 persons with respect to August 1999. Month-to-month, the number of persons not in the labor force swelled by 25,000 to 1,546,000 in August 2000, when compared with July 2000 (1,521,000).

Those persons not in the labor force are not counted as unemployed because they had not actively searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

The household survey provides comprehensive data on the labor force, the employed, and the unemployed, classified by such characteristics as age, sex, family relationship, marital status, occupation, and industry attachment. Trained interviewers collect the information from a sample of approximately 7,500 households located all over the islands, except the municipality of Vieques and Culebras.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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