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Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate inches up

August 20, 2013

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate has risen slightly for the first time this year after five months of continuous decline.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the U.S. territory’s rate was 13.5 percent in July.

Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate was 14.6 percent at the beginning of the year and had been steadily dropping until July.

The island of 3.7 million people has the highest unemployment rate compared with any U.S. state.

Federal officials also reported on Monday that the number of people on nonfarm payrolls in Puerto Rico also dropped in July to 892,700, compared with 934,300 in July 2012.

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