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.