The Demographics of the Puerto Rican Population and Labor Force Change
Human resources play an essential role in the process of industrial development in postwar Puerto Rico. It is the manner in which these resources have been used that has laid the foundation for the growth of the industrial economy. Continued economic development requires that they be engaged in their most productive capacity. Likewise, the openness of the Puerto Rican economy demands flexibility to adjust to new and changing circumstances, constant improvement in the acquisition of skills, and sufficient complementarity among inputs.
The supply of labor is determined by a complex set of socioeconomic and demographic factors. To further complicate matters, the relevant variables often interact simultaneously, making it difficult to discern endogenous or exogenous relations. Nonetheless, given the importance of human resources in economic development, it is necessary that these relations be examined and understood. This will serve to improve the utilization of existing human resources and the effective incorporation of future ones into productive uses.
A key variable in any analysis of human resource development is population growth. A common argument is that rapid population growth is an obstacle to sustained economic development. The Puerto Rican case is one that is often cited as being successful because it has managed to "restrain" the growth of its population, thus providing higher income per capit. 1 The vicious circle of poverty, revealed by low per capita income, is at least partially the