Non-farm payroll employment reached a total of 866,200 in Puerto Rico during the month of December 2021. Compared to December 2020, this is an increase of 3.5%. Compared to November 2021, there was a decrease of 1,100 (0.1%). This was the first month with a decrease in employment since May 2021.
The category with the largest decrease in employment was retail sales, which went down by 1,600 (1.3%). The increase in COVID contagions in December due to the Omicron variant led to many consumers avoiding retail spaces. This has been confirmed by Google Mobility data as well as by many of our own clients. This decrease was offset by an increase in government employment of 1,300 (0.7%). The only major categories that had increases were manufacturing (0.4%) and education services (1.3%).