Puerto Rico’s Unemployment Rate Falls in July

Puerto Rico’s jobless rate fell unexpectedly in July.

Fox News Latino reported that the region’s unemployment average fell to 11.9 percent from 12.6 percent in June. Overall, this figure has declined by 1.8 percent from July 2014. Despite this positive shift, other facets of the island’s employment situation were not as strong last month. Puerto Rico’s labor force participation rate declined in July, falling from .1 percent on a year-to-year basis and down .2 percent from the previous month. 

Currently, 39.5 percent of Puerto Rico’s population is actively engaged in the workforce, which amounts to about 992,000 workers. This number declined by 10,000 people since July 2014, and is down by 3,000 compared to June of this year, reported the news source. 

CNBC reported that Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate is able to fall in the face of shrinking job opportunities largely due to a mass emigration. More workers are packing up and moving to the mainland, where a low jobless average and higher wages have created a strong labor situation. Because this exodus is mostly composed of young people, many of the island’s remaining residents are of retirement age. An aging population drives the unemployment rate down, but also keeps the labor force participation rate extremely low as well, explained the news source.