Marianas Variety Guam Edition – The Local and Regional Newspaper

12 23Fri11282014

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Back Local News Guam unemployment rate 13.3 percent

Guam unemployment rate 13.3 percent

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THE number of jobless Guamanians increased by more than 1,500, putting the island’s unemployment rate at 13.3 percent this year compared with the preceding year’s 11.8 percent, according to a recent report from the Department of Labor.

This year’s unemployment rate brought the island back to the March 2011 level when the total number of jobless Guamanians reached 9,970.

The increase in unemployment figures for 2013, however, was due to the higher number of people looking for jobs with the labor department’s report disclosing that participation rate rose 3.8 percent.

According to the report, “The Unemployment Situation on Guam: Summary History 1974-2013,” more than 73,000 people of the island’s population of 121,120 were in the labor force as of March this year. It added that 63,440 of the total registered workers on Guam are currently employed.

The unemployment rate during the same period last year was 11.8 percent with 56.6 percent of all Guam workers participating in the labor process. The number of registered workers also increased by nearly 5,000 during the same period.

Compared with December 2012, this year’s jobless rate registered an even steeper increase of 2.6 percent from 10.7 percent although the total number of Guam workers also jumped from 72,560.

The Guam economy added more than 1,000 new jobs in June 2013, according to the labor department’s current employment report. The same report, however, said there were 130 fewer jobs in the government in June 2013 compared with the same period last year.

Not fast enough

Joseph Bradley, chief economist of the Bank of Guam, earlier said the Guam economy is not adding jobs nearly fast enough to accommodate the rising number of people who are ready, willing and able to work.

“In fact, we have 8,510 fewer jobs filled today than we did in the first quarter of 1992, which admittedly was the historical peak in Guam’s employment history, and a lot of those jobs were filled by temporary alien laborers in the construction industry.”

He also said consumer prices tend to rise faster than the average earnings of most of the island’s workers.

The labor department said Guam’s per capita income and average income of persons with income decreased slightly from 2008 to 2010, but mean and median household income increased due to increases in household size and an increased average number of income earners per household.

The report said per capita income for 2010 is $12,864, a decrease of $225 or 1.7 percent from calendar year 2008. Median individual income decreased from 13,200 in 2008 to 12,786 in 2010.

Per capita income statistics for the total non-institutional civilian population includes both those with and without income. The mean income of persons with income in 2010 was $25,462, a decline of $17 from 2008’s $25,479.

Guam’s average household income for calendar year 2010 was $49,263, an increase of $3,477 or 7.1 percent from calendar year 2008’s $45,786. Median household income increased from $37,741 in 2008 to $39,052 in 2010. Average household size increased from 3.5 persons per household in 2008 to 3.8 in 2010.

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