Puerto Rico Compass ©

Q3 2011: We Are Not There Yet

An analysis of 3rd Quarter 2011 economic indices in PR

Puerto Rico’s third quarter indices reveal a mixed picture. The economy is not yet out of recession but there are some positive signs. However, there are already rumors of another recession brewing in the US as a result of the unresolved debt hangover in Europe and its efforts to save Greece and the continent’s debt-burdened banks. Still, the idea that the island has hit bottom is a possibility but, as we have indicated in prior issues of Compass, this will depend not only on internal but also on external factors originating in the US and other global economies. There is increasing dissatisfaction with escalating electricity prices and persistently high unemployment. This issue tracks the 3Q of the PR economy and highlights some trends.

Puerto Rico Economic Pulse ©

September 2011: The Changing Face of PR’s Workforce

How policies and demographic trends shape the labor market

Today, millions of people around the world are unemployed. Economic policies have changed the face of the workforce and demographic trends are shaping its future. Puerto Rico is also facing high unemployment with 16.4% as of August 2011. The transformation of our economy has taken its toll on the labor market and recent economic policies have not stumped the rise of the jobless, particularly among the youth. Jobs have been sacrificed in the name of fiscal austerity, especially in the public sector. If globalization and technological innovation are altering the structure of the labor market, then long-term, it is likely that unemployment will remain high. Is Puerto Rico prepared for these challenges? How is our economy changing to supply jobs to the young graduates of our universities and retain the jobs of our baby boomers, who need to stay longer in the workforce? Broadly speaking, we need a reform of our educational system and adjustments to our tax system and welfare safety net.