WASHINGTON — Nearly 100,800 jobs could be at risk of being lost when Puerto Rico’s recovery is complete, a top U.S. Treasury official said Friday.
The jobs count is based on new jobs created and employment levels in each of the states that are not expected to return to full capacity until early 2019, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said at a news conference in Washington.
That includes 1,100 construction workers and 500 people in the electrical and gas industry.
It also includes more than 1,400 people in education, including about 100 in math and science, as well as more than 100 in retail and hospitality.
“The job losses will be in a variety of sectors, Lew said.
They will include some workers that were laid off earlier in the year, he said.
The Treasury official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the job losses represent the “most severe impact” on Puerto Rico and would take about a year to recover.
The department’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) said in a statement that more than 2,000 workers have been killed in Puerto Rico in recent months.
The new job losses are not the worst since the recession, said Jeffrey Shilling, chief economist at the National Association of Manufacturers, a trade group.
More than 1 million people were laidoff as Puerto Ricans fled the island’s economic crisis. “
We’re not seeing any of the jobs that were created in the recession,” Shilling said.
More than 1 million people were laidoff as Puerto Ricans fled the island’s economic crisis.
On Thursday, the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America said Puerto Rico had lost 1.2 million jobs since the start of the recession.
It noted that jobless claims had climbed steadily since 2014.