The coronavirus (Covid-19) has exacerbated the severe economic crisis that Puerto Rico has faced for more than a decade, which could lead to over 300,000 Puerto Ricans leaving the Island in the next two years in an attempt to achieve better conditions for lifetime.
According to a study by the research firm Economic Intelligence, the economic losses caused by the spread of the virus on the Island will exceed $ 10 billion, while a total of 417,000 jobs or 46.8% of the 870,800 existing jobs on the Island will be seen directly affected.
Given this, the firm estimates that a second migratory wave of 300,000 people could occur between 2020 and 2022, which would reduce the population to 2.7 million people. This is in addition to the more than 600,000 people who have left from 2010 to 2019 as a result of the prolonged stagnation of the economy.
In terms of employment, Economic Intelligence stipulates that the coronavirus has caused more job losses than Hurricane Maria. “Maria destroyed 50,000 jobs that were never fully recovered. The Covid-19 -up to now- has caused the unemployment of 350,000 private employees, almost 50% of the private payroll ”, details the agency.
“In 2019, total employment in Puerto Rico amounted to 870,000, of which 650,000 were private, and 220,000 were generated by the government. The current crisis puts 343,000 jobs in five major industries at risk. If 25% of these jobs were lost, 85,000 jobs would be lost permanently. 13% of total private employment, ”said the research firm.
Likewise, Economic Intelligence detailed that the jobs related to the retail trade, restaurants, hotels, health and auto industries are those that maintain a higher level of risk. These industries generate an approximate of 343 thousand direct jobs that could be in danger.