GLOBAL ECONOMY

Puerto Rican unemployment drops as island struggles to emerge from economic slump

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - NOVEMBER 14:  People scan the bulletin board for job postings at the unemployment office on November 14, 2013  in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The unemployment rate hovers around 14 percent, almost twice the national average. The island-territory of the United States is on the brink of a debt crisis as lending has skyrocketed in the last decade with the government issuing municipal bonds. Market analysts have rated those bonds as junk and suspect it's 70 billion dollar debt might be unserviceable in the near future. With a deteriorating manufacturing industry and tourism only contributing to 10 percent of the GDP, the way out is unclear.  (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - NOVEMBER 14: People scan the bulletin board for job postings at the unemployment office on November 14, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The unemployment rate hovers around 14 percent, almost twice the national average. The island-territory of the United States is on the brink of a debt crisis as lending has skyrocketed in the last decade with the government issuing municipal bonds. Market analysts have rated those bonds as junk and suspect it's 70 billion dollar debt might be unserviceable in the near future. With a deteriorating manufacturing industry and tourism only contributing to 10 percent of the GDP, the way out is unclear. (Photo by Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)  (2013 Getty Images)

Puerto Rico's unemployment rate has dropped slightly as the U.S. territory struggles to emerge from a nearly decade-long economic slump.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the unemployment rate was 14 percent in October, compared to 14.1 percent in September. In October of last year, the rate was 14.9 percent.

The unemployment rate for the island of nearly 3.7 million people remains far greater than last month's total U.S. rate of 5.8 percent and is higher than any state.

The bureau reports that the percentage of Puerto Ricans participating in the labor market also declined, dropping to 39.9 percent in October compared to 41.2 percent a year ago.

Officials said Friday the island saw job growth in five of eight sectors over last year, including manufacturing and construction.

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