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Guam's unemployment rate dips 8.1%

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam had an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent as of September 2021, measuring a 3.3 percent decrease from 11.4 percent in June 2021, indicating

the island's economy was beginning to bounce back from pandemic-triggered collapse.

According to the Guam Bureau of Labor Statistics, the total number of persons unemployed in September 2021 was 5,660, which shows a substantial decrease in the latest quarter, but it remains well above the figure of 2,580 in September 2019.

The new number represented a reduction of 9.8 percent from September 2020, but up 4.5 percentage points from the pre-pandemic period in September 2019, according to government statistics.

Businesses temporarily closed their operations in 2020 during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic that resulted in a community shutdown. The pause in tourism has forced many businesses to either trim their operations and cut their staff or close shop altogether.

While a yet-to-be-determined number of businesses on Guam have permanently shuttered, new businesses have begun emerging since last year.

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“Despite the challenges of this pandemic, we have ensured that job creation and economic development remain top priorities. Our steadily decreasing unemployment rates symbolize the resilient progress our people have made to date,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero. “Through skilled labor boot camps, pre-apprenticeship programs, and thoughtful investments, we have made great efforts to provide our community with ample opportunities to secure employment. These latest rates present promising evidence and urge us to continue on the road to recovery.”

“With gainful employment on the rise and the gears of our economy grinding in tune, we are seeing positive growth for Guam,” said Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio. “Still, there remains more work left to accomplish. We are reimagining and revitalizing our tourism industry to welcome a robust return of visitors. We are diversifying our economy to create even more jobs and a sustainable workforce that will weather the challenges of the future. We are actively working to meet these goals and many more, and we continue to make progress.”


Guam’s population covered by the survey, 16 years of age and over in September 2021 was 124,110.

The September 2021 unemployment rate reflected a decrease in the number of persons unemployed since June 2021 due to an increase in employment and persons no longer looking for work contracting the labor force. The number of persons not in the labor force increased from 52,650 in June 2021 to 54,330in September 2021.

The labor force participation rate, the civilian labor force as a fraction of the civilian population age 16 years of age and over, declined to 54.8 percent in September 2021 from 57.5 percent in June 2021 and 57.3 percent in September 2019 pre-pandemic.

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