Covid-19 pandemic sent 13,850 Guamanians to jobless land

GDOL: Guam's unemployment hits record high

The economic massacre caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has left 13,850 Guamanians jobless as of December 2020, according to the Guam Department of Labor.

The labor department said Guam has reached its highest rate of unemployment at 19.4 percent, an increase from September’s 17.9 percent and December 2019’s rate of 6.1 percent a year earlier.

The number of persons not in the labor force increased as well.

Most of the employees affected by the pandemic are those working in the service sector that drove the tourism industry.

“Much like Hawaii, a large share of our economy is tourism-related. Hotels and anything that relied on tourism declined due to the pandemic. But because almost all of our tourists are international, recovery is more complex,” said Gary Hiles, Guam Department of Labor chief economist.

Most Guam businesses suspended operations during the Covid-related lockdowns imposed by the government last year. While some companies resumed business when Guam moved to PCOR3, many have shuttered their doors permanently.