Unemployment Rate Drops to 10.9 Percent

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The unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in three years on Guam (10.9%), and the total number of workers earning a paycheck has risen to the highest level since the March 2011 payroll report (61,140 employed).  These figures come from the latest Unemployment and Employment reports from the Department of Labor for September.

“More people are working and the economy has expanded compared to one year ago,” Department of Labor Chief Economist Gary Hiles said.

Private sector employment is at its highest level since March 2011, with 45,260 employees in eight industry categories as of September 2012. There have been marked increases in construction, retail, and services industries over the past quarter or year.

“The private sector is growing and there are people who are earning a little bit more,” Governor Calvo said. “We’ll keep doing whatever we can to spur investment. We’ll continue our efforts to facilitate private as well as Federal and local government projects so the economy can keep growing and produce more jobs for our people. I thank George Santos, Gary Hiles, and their team for putting these reports together.”

There has been a slight decrease in government jobs over the past year, from 11,900 in September 2011 to 11,820 this past September.

Average hourly earnings in the private sector also are up slightly compared to a year ago.

“We have reestablished the practice of collecting and publishing unemployment reports quarterly as we do with the payroll employment reports,” Director of Labor George Santos said. “Gary and the staff are doing a great job with the limited resources they have. I also thank our partners at AHRD. Anyone who is looking for work or some training should call us or stop by, or visit our website at dol.guam.gov.”

The Department of Labor released three reports today. The first is the Current Employment Report for September 2012. The agency simultaneously released the Unemployment reports for June 2012 and September 2012. The last release was for March 2012, where unemployment had fallen to 11.8% from the March 2011 unemployment rate of 13.3%.