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Puerto Rico Unemployment Rate at 11.9%

By on March 14, 2016

SAN JUAN — Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate for January was pegged at 11.9%, down from 12.2% in December and 12.3% in January 2015, according to the most recent statistics provided by the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Data from the recent employment & unemployment survey show that the 11.9% adjusted unemployment rate for the first month of 2016 is the lowest since July 2008, when it stood at 11.8%, commonwealth government officials noted.

Meanwhile, data from the Puerto Rico Labor Department show that total employment, seasonally adjusted, stood at 1,003,000 jobs, an increase of 12,000 when compared with January 2015 (991,000), but 2,000 less employed people when compared with December.

The report also states a labor-force participation rate increase of 0.3% (40.5%) when compared with January 2015 (40.2%), but 0.3% less than the 40.5% rate registered in December.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - JUNE 30: People look at the job listing posted on the wall at an unemployment office a day after the governor gave a televised speech regarding the governments $72 billion debt on June 30, 2015 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Governor said in his speech that the people will have to sacrifice and share in the responsibilities for pulling the island out of debt. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

People look at the job listing posted on the wall at an unemployment office in San Juan. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The most recent labor date “confirms that the efforts of this administration to create jobs continue to produce results,” Public Affairs Secretary Jesús Manuel Ortiz said during a briefing to reporters on Monday.

Both Ortiz and Thomas highlighted how several industries achieved positive job-creation figures, such as self-employed people and tourism-related industries.

“Tourism-related industries continue to be the industrial sector that continues to rises month after month. The hotel and restaurant sectors as well as recreation and hospitality achieved the highest number of jobs created,” Thomas stated. He noted how December and January were very active for the tourism sector overall, reflecting its impact on the employment numbers.

A link to the Puerto Rico Labor Department’s complete report for January can be found here.

Caribbean Business Reporter Luis J. Valentín contributed to this story.

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