Today the US Department of Labor released its November 2011 labor statistics for the nation, all 50 states, and Puerto Rico. The data from Puerto Rico presents the following information:
- The overall unemployment figure for Puerto Rico is now at 15.7%, which is a .04% drop from October rate of 16.1%.
- The total civilian labor force in Puerto Rico dropped from 1,277,300 people in October, 2011 to 1,275,000 in November, 2011. This is a drop of over 2,000 people in the labor force. In the meantime, 4,000 net jobs were created in Puerto Rico between October, 2011 and November, 2011.
- Government jobs increased 4.3% over a 12-month period from from November 2010 to November 2011. Right now, of the 1,277,300 people in the civilan labor force, the US Department of Labor lists 272,000 public sector jobs.
- The following industries saw significant 12-month percentage increases in employment: Mining, Logging, and Construction (5.2%), Information (4.8%), and Government (4.3%).
- Puerto Rican unemployment has hovered between 14% and 17% since March, 2009. In the last six months, the lowest rate was 14.1% (June) and the highest rate was 16.1% (November).
- The last time Puerto Rican unemployment was under 10% was February, 2008 (9.5%). It has been in double-digit unemployment for the last 44 consecutive months and for the last 55 out of 56 months. Since the first month of Governor Luis Fortuño’s administration, Puerto Rico has seen single-digit unemployment only once: February, 2008.
- The data confirms that Puerto Rico continues to stay stuck in double-digit unemployment, although with Fortuño facing a tough re-election, he will probably take any news. The key for him in the next six months is whether this new data will show that Puerto Rico is heading in the right direction or whether it will still hover between 14% and 17%.