Non-farm payroll for the month of July in Puerto Rico totaled 859,500 workers. Compared to the previous month of June, non-farm payroll increased by 3.6 thousand, or 0.4%. Compared to July 2020, there was a 37.1 thousand increase, or 4.5%.
Compared to June, the categories with the most growth were education, tourism, and construction. They had month over month increases of 3%, 1.7%, and 1.4%, respectively. Finance, professional and business services, and healthcare all showed month over month decreases of 0.7%, 0.6%, and 0.2%, respectively.
The categories with the largest year over year increases were tourism, construction, and education. They had increases of 17.3%, 11.2%, and 7.6%, respectively. The categories with the largest year over year decreases were finance and professional and business services. They had decreases of 1.6% and 0.3%, respectively.
Compared to March 2020, the month when the first COVID lockdown was initiated, non-farm payroll is down by 27,800, or 3.1%. 3 of the major employment categories have shown growth relative to March 2020. Construction, manufacturing, and retail sales have grown by 3.6%, 2.8%, and 0.6%, respectively. The categories with the largest decreases relative to March 2020 are professional and business services, finance, and education. They are down relative to March by 5.8%, 5.5%, and 5.2%, respectively.
This was the second consecutive month with an increase in non-farm payroll. Even though some categories have already completely recovered, employment as a whole and several key categories, such as tourism and restaurants, have yet to reach their pre-pandemic levels. With expanded unemployment benefits set to expire in September, we can expect employment to increase at a faster pace starting near the end of 2021.