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Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

“As my father used to say: "There are two sure ways to lose a friend, one is to borrow, the other to lend.” Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

1 – Puerto Rico's Fragile Labor Market

On a previous note ABEXUS Analytics highlighted the fact that almost 2/3s of Puerto Rico’s labor force is not currently employed. Such a number was derived from continued unemployment claims, plus the working age population who is not participating in the labor market. Such sum could be highly questioned since both measures are fundamentally different. However, sometimes being unorthodox provides a fresh perspective! See our previous graph on post COVID unemployment. (please press over the graph to see how the sunburst changes, it took a lot of coding!)

We thought we landed the 3 Carabelas in the New World with such fact! But “fortunately” one of our team members put all that hype to the floor when he noted that we left out almost 400,000 jobs from such simple sum. That is, Puerto Rico’s job market is not only limited by unemployment claims and labor force participation, it should consider all the jobs that were “saved” by the U.S. federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). If such program was not enacted, it is fair to say that a great portion of such workers would have ended up in unemployment claims (most probably PUA). When we add all of those jobs, the number follows Elon’s Musk latest SpaceX Dragon trajectory.

The following pie chart presents total salaried employment divided between those jobs that were preserved by the PPP, those that received no aid, and continued unemployment claims for mid-June. This essentially presents an economy in which almost 60% is either unemployed or could have been unemployed if not for the PPP. Therefore, COVID-19 put at risk over 600,000 jobs, of which the rescue packages saved 385,000 and are providing unemployment for the remaining 221,000.

Jobs Protected by the SBA's PPP & Those Covered by Unemployment