PUA claimants made $16.23 an hour, more than if they were employed

Guam Department of Labor Director David Dell'Isola (PNC photo)

No wonder the private sector was having a hard time recruiting workers.

Guam Department of Labor director David Dell’Isola told lawmakers on Wednesday that those availing of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance were raking in significantly more income from PUA than from any comparable private sector job.

“If you were with PUA at the beginning when we first shut down from March 15, 2020 to the end of the program, you would have received $48,000 for that whole period,” Dell’Isola said.

Putting this in perspective, Dell’Isola said that if you were an employee fully employed for that period at $8.75 an hour, you would have collected only up to $27,000. And if you were fully employed like the pandemic never happened and you were making about $12.5 an hour, you would have gotten close to only $37,000.

“So what does that $48,000 in PUA equate to in full time hours? That’s $16.23 an hour. And if you look at our current employment report, the average retail hourly rate is just $11.82. The average service hour is only $10.37. So the average poor participant under PUA was making more than the typical person would make if they were working full time,” Dell’Isola pointed out.

He added: “I just want to make sure that you guys understand how much assistance. the average person was getting and it equates to what they normally would have gotten if they worked full-time hours.”