Puerto Rico cuts 8,000 public jobs

The Associated PressMay 30, 2009 

— Puerto Rico fired nearly 8,000 government workers Friday, the start of a wave of layoffs aimed at closing a budget deficit as the island struggles through its third year of recession.

The first round included mostly temporary clerical workers in the education, treasury and health departments. Gov. Luis Fortuno has said he needs to cut 30,000 public sector jobs on an island where more than one-fifth of the people work for the local government.

The layoffs come as Puerto Rico faces an unemployment rate of nearly 15 percent, higher than anywhere on the U.S. mainland.

"The effects will be fatal," said Francisco Catala, an economics professor at the University of Puerto Rico. "We are going about this the wrong way."

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service