US Companies Look to Puerto Rico for Workers, Providing Much-needed Jobs

GUAYNABO, PR / ACCESSWIRE / February 18, 2020 / After last January’s earthquakes in Puerto Rico, workers have faced difficulty finding employment in an already struggling economy. For income stability, Puerto Rican workers have set their sights on the US mainland.

Ever since Puerto Rico was crippled by Hurricane Maria in 2017, a number of Puerto Ricans were unable to get back on track financially. Many more small operations are still reporting losses related to the same event amidst this worsening crisis with multiple natural disasters, political instability, low wages and a 8.4% unemployment rate, as indicated by the Department of Labor and Human Resources, many look towards mainland US to find stable income and a better future for their families.

A series of earthquakes hit Puerto Rico starting on December 28, 2019. The strongest one happening on January 7, 2020. It measured 6.4 on the Richter Scale, leaving the US territory with electrical problems once again. Thousands of people’s homes were damaged in its wake. Consequently, even more people were left without a source of income.

In 2019, companies like Open Gate Staffing helped hundreds of Puerto Rican workers relocate to the states with stable, well-paying jobs. Many relocated to Louisiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. This year, even more potential relocations are in the works, as new employment opportunities are on the rise in Utah. Many job seekers have skilled trades that are in high demand, including welders, carpenters, electricians, and others with manufacturing experience. The recent job openings at Open Gate Staffing are intended to relieve people residing in the island’s southwestern area, who were hardly affected by the recent chain of earthquakes in which hundreds of homes were damaged.

Employment opportunities like these are much-needed. Fortunately, Puerto Ricans have US citizenship and do not require H-2B visas, which are harder than ever to obtain. According to SHRM, employers now must go through a couple of lottery processes for visa approval – one is for certification, the other is to finalize approval. However, of the approximate 100,000 individual requests made in this quarter, only a mere 33,000 of them will be greenlit. 5500 employers that submitted a request will be left shorthanded. Such stricter approaches make this process increasingly costly and time-consuming.

Additionally, as the US territory is 70 billion dollars in debt, the PROMESA Act has frozen minimum wage increases coming at a federal level meaning that many Puerto Ricans will be stuck with a $7.25 hourly wage with little chance of it increasing in the coming years. As such, many view such opportunities in the mainland as God-given.


Name: Noel Rodriguez
Phone: 787-235-0099
Address: 100 Acuarela Suite 302
Guaynabo, PR 00969

SOURCE: Noel Rodriguez

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