San Juan, Nov 14 (EFE) .- Since Hurricane María passed through Puerto Rico, unemployment and the closure of businesses have been a constant with 15,000 requests for help from people without work, the closure of thousands of businesses and an emigration that would place the population in 2019 below 3 million inhabitants.
The Secretary of the Department of Labor and Human Resources (DTRH) of Puerto Rico, Carlos Saavedra, cataloged today in an interview with Efe of "unprecedented catastrophe" the effects caused by the hurricane in the labor sector.
He recalled that after the María's step thousands of citizens from all over the island went to the offices of the DTRH in San Juan every day to request unemployment assistance.
The official explained that normally only between 1,000 and 2,000 people asked for help monthly for unemployment.
Saavedra said that most people who have requested help come from the sector tourism, since many hotels were destroyed by being located by the sea, while other hotels could not operate due to lack of electricity and water.
Approximately 80,000 jobs are in Puerto Rico linked to tourism.
According to data provided by the Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, 72% (108) of the 149 hotel establishments recognized by the state agency currently operate.
The aid offered to the unemployed in the tourism sector reaches $ 110 per week, depending on the salary they charged.
"Unemployment is a help for a transition while the person gets a new job, but it does not replace your previous gain", he emphasized. Saavedra.
According to the official, the passage of hurricane Maria came at an unexpected time for the local government, since last January the unemployment rate stood at 12.2%, percentage that happened in July to 9.8%, one of the lowest figures in the past years.
"After the hurricanes there has always been a high rate of unemployment," admitted Saavedra, who clarified that due to the problems derived from María is not known exactly what is the current figure of unemployment.
Saavedra recalled that one of the highest rates of unemployment that have been registered in Puerto Rico in the past decade was the one between 2008 and 2009, which stood at close to 18%, due to the economic crisis.
Saavedra said that for Counteracting the rise in the number of unemployed in October increased job offers in the area of catering, especially in the positions of waiter and cooks.
Other People who seek financial assistance are those who have their own business and qualify for the Unemployment Assistance after a Catastrophe (DUA) program, which puts its disposition the Federal Agency for the Handling of Emergencies (FEMA).
Meanwhile, the president of the Association of Hotels and Tourism of Puerto Rico, Clarisa Jiménez, announced the last week he will hold a job fair at the International School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts of the Universidad del Este (UNE) in Carolina.
"Before the passage of the Hurricane María, we are aware of the effect that the emergency has had on jobs inside and outside the tourist activity in Puerto Rico and for that reason we want to serve as a link between the Employers identified with available jobs and the public that is in search of work, "Jiménez explained.
" The initiative is an effort to support the recovery of Puerto Rico, and, above all, stimulate and raise the economy of the island, "he said.
The Senate of Puerto Rico organized the second Job Fair with the aim of boosting employment, appointment that counted on the presence of hundreds of people.