The January 2021 Report of Occupied Positions (OPs) in the Puerto Rican government revealed that there are fewer people working in the public sector. This has been a continuing trend for more than a decade.
The latest report, published by the Puerto Rico Statistics Institute, revealed that the total number of OPs in the government dropped significantly, from 160,171 in December 2020 to 150,502 in the first month of 2021. Moreover, in January 2008, the total number of OPs was 275,448.
Collectively, 73.06 percent of all government workers are “career” OPs, 4.51 percent are “trust” positions, and 22.43 percent are listed as “others.” In the governor’s office at La Fortaleza, 66.97 percent of jobs are careers, 24.11 percent are trust positions, and 8.92 percent are “others.”
In public departments and agencies, 87.93 percent are career OPs, 1.67 percent are trust positions, and 10.4 percent are other types of OPs. As for public corporations, 72.64 percent are career jobs, 5.16 are trust OPs, and 22.6 percent are listed under “others.”
More details on the job specifics or job titles, such as clerical, secretarial, security-related, supervisor or manager, were not available.
The information is available through a new programming carried out by the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics, which allows for better visualization of the Report of Occupied Positions in the government and the ability to compare current information with previous months, among other advantages.
For the redesign of this report, the free and open-source software R was used, which is why it is now done completely through this program, eliminating manual processes that were previously carried out.
“This new programming is an advanced one since it optimizes the efficiency and effectiveness of the statistical processes on this subject, improves our ability to control government positions with updated information, and allows comparisons to be made with previous years,” said Orville Disdier, executive director of the Statistics Institute.
Meanwhile, Ana Jara Castro, who is responsible for the redesign of the report at the Institute, said that “the inclusion of this new table will allow the process of accountability regarding positions in government entities, to be a more transparent one, and more accessible to the population. The main objective of this report is to summarize the information of all the agencies represented in the Comptroller’s Office on its website.”
According to the website of the Statistics Institute, the data presented in the Report of Occupied Government Positions comes from the Registry of Occupied Positions and Related Information, created under Act 103-2006, known as the Law for the Fiscal Reform of the Government of Puerto Rico of 2006. The law establishes that each government entity has the duty to certify this information to the Comptroller’s Office on a monthly basis.
In those cases that the entity has not fulfilled its duty to certify its figures in a timely manner, the Institute makes a simple statistical imputation of the missing data to complete the statistics. All figures are under constant review and may be subject to change in future reports.
Jara stated that the new design includes a monthly report tabulated by agency and type of position, in addition to the time series, with the following information: number of OPs at the end of the reference month, broken down by type of position (career, trust, temporary, irregular, among others) and by type of agency; monthly change in the number of OPs by type of position and by type of entity, and the total OPs for each government entity.