SAN JUAN – The economic crisis and large-scale emigration have progressively reduced in recent years the number of people working in Puerto Rico, dipping below 1 million to the lowest level since 1992.
The island’s jobless rate stood at 13.8 percent last month, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor.
In May, Puerto Rico had a labor force of 1.15 million out of a total population of 3.6 million.
The workforce shrank by 2.7 percent over the 12 months ending May 31.
The number of people with jobs had remained at 1 million or above from 1993 through April of this year.
The number of employees continued to grow on the island until the start of the recession in late 2006. Since then the number of people with jobs has declined, while the exodus of emigrants has remained on the rise.
Over the past year an average of 2,257 employees have gone away every month, as have a monthly total of 2,306 people who can and want to work. Meanwhile the number of people who wanted to work but couldn’t find a job dropped to an average of only 49 per month.