By Chris Owen | Florida Marketing Manager
Migration Impact on Labor
Hurricane Maria tore through the Caribbean in September causing widespread destruction to several islands. Puerto Rico took a direct hit with the island’s infrastructure crippled. A month out and less than 15% of residents still have no power, water is scarce and basic services non-existent. Reconstruction, including a total revamp of the electrical grid, will take several years to complete.
Florida officials are estimating up to 250,000 people will relocate in the next several months, a number that could grow by several hundred thousand more over the next year.
The existing in-place support network of family and friends in the state will help with the transition and provide a much needed bridge for integrating new arrivals into Florida’s economy.
Thousands of working age Puerto Ricans will be arriving at a time when Florida’s economy is running at full steam. Most markets with sizeable Puerto Rican communities have unemployment rates around 4.0%.
Florida’s growing economy and cultural diversity can provide a landing spot of opportunity for those that have left as well as a bridge for support to those that stayed on the island.
Florida Research Manager – Americas
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