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Back Local News March job total drops from December, but up from 2012

March job total drops from December, but up from 2012

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ACCORDING to a release yesterday from the office of Gov. Eddie Calvo, Guam’s private sector included 1,000 more jobs in March than it did 12 months ago. “Over the year, the private sector gained 1,000 jobs in total, led by an increase of 590 jobs in construction, followed by a gain of 420 jobs in hotels and 220 in transportation and public utilities,” the release quoted Gary Hiles, chief economist of the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the release also noted that total employment in March was down from December 2012.

The complete March 2013 Employment Report was not posted on the Department of Labor website as of press time.

According to the release, government of Guam employment dropped by 100 jobs from the same period last year, including a dip of 70 jobs over the last quarter. Federal government employment also dropped by 80 jobs from March 2012, including 60 since December 2012.

The decline in government jobs over the latest quarter – a decline of 130 total government jobs since December 2012 – is the biggest reason for the decline of total employment – 140 jobs – when comparing total employment in December 2012 to March 2013. Despite growth in several industries over the quarter, there was a seasonal drop in the retail industry. Retailers tend to hire more temporary workers in December to assist with the Christmas shopping season, according to the release.

The March 2013 report is a reversal from the March 2012 report, when there was a loss of more than 1,000 jobs in the construction industry alone, according to the release. The March 2012 report showed hotel jobs were slightly below the March 2011 levels of 5,410. Today’s job report shows tremendous growth in the hotel job market since that time, with 5,790 jobs in hotels. This follows consecutive months of news that tourist arrivals are at record levels.

“Private average hourly earnings, average weekly hours paid and average weekly earnings all decreased slightly in the latest quarter but remain above the comparable figures of one year ago,” Hiles is quoted in the release.

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