As part of a larger labor reform law to attract businesses to the territory, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Nevares approved legislation that increases the unemployment insurance (UI) wage base from $7,000 to $10,500.
The law also increases the weekly unemployment benefit for laid off workers from a range of $7 to $133 to a range of $60 to $240.
Both changes are effective immediately. (Law No. 4, Law of Transformation and Labor Flexibility, January 26, 2017.)
For 2016, Puerto Rico’s unemployment insurance tax rates ranged from 2.4% to 5.4%, with the rate for new employers at 3.3%.
The territory’s jobless rate is more than 11%, one of the highest of all US jurisdictions and significantly more than the US average of near 5%.