Puerto Rico income jumped 7.8% in 2016

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Puerto Rico’s median household income jumped 7.8% in 2016 from 2015, adjusted for inflation.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported the figure as part of American Community Survey statistics it released Thursday. The ACS also showed that mean household income was up 2.3% after inflation.

The figures are in contrast with the generally negative economic data coming out of Puerto Rico.

For example, Puerto Rico’s economic activity index declined 2.1% in July from a year earlier, according to a report from the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, total employment in August on the island was down 0.25% from a year earlier. According to its survey of workplaces, total employment was down 1.1%.

The American Community Survey also showed that net migration to the rest of the United States increased to 67,000 in 2016 from an average of 44,400 per year from 2006 to 2015. Data from the Puerto Rico Ports Authority show that the average net migration was 65,700 per year from 2006 to 2015. The difference may reflect that some Puerto Ricans migrate to countries beside the U.S., said Mario Marazzi, executive director for the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute.

Asked about the reported increase in income, Marazzi said in 2016, “net migration to the United States reached another record of 67,000. The folks moving from Puerto Rico to the United States reflect all parts of Puerto Rican society, including households who earn less than $15,000 a year. While we can't be sure, it appears that the increase in the median income owes in part to a reduction of households in this group."

The BLS’s household survey showed that the unemployment rate increased to 10.1% in August from 9.8% in July. Total employment in August was down 18.7% from August 2007.

The BLS’s establishment survey showed that total employment in August was down 15% from 10 years earlier and had reached the lowest level since then. Total private sector employment was down 10.2% from August 2007.

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