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Guam's unemployment rate remains low

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Guam's unemployment rate remains low but adjusted slightly by .10 percent to 4.1 percent in the September 2023 quarter, according to the government's latest report.

While this is a fractional upward adjustment for the period, the number is a decrease of 0.3 percentage points from the September 2022 figure of 4.4 percent.

The number of persons not in the labor force has significantly dropped, going from 52,540 in June 2023 to 50,690 in September 2023—a difference of 1,850 individuals.

The September 2023 Unemployment Situation Report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Guam Department of Labor shows more people working as people transition from out of the labor force or unemployed categories and enter or reenter the labor force and find employment. 

“The total unemployment figure for September 2023 at 4.1 percent has remained relatively low and constant,” said GDOL Chief Economist Gary Hiles.

September 2023’s Current Employment Report documents the continuing trend of job growth in construction and an employment recovery in industries associated with tourism, primarily Hotels and Retail Trade.  

“The total number of jobs on Guam dipped somewhat in June just after May’s Typhoon Mawar but has rebounded to higher levels since. In addition to an increased number of people working, the number of hours worked, and the average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings have increased as well,” added Hiles.

The Current Employment Report shows that employees are earning more at an average of $690.56 per week compared to $663.70 in June 2023 and $621.98 a year earlier in September 2022.

“Despite the marginal upward adjustment in the unemployment rate, we are also seeing that more people are choosing to go back into the labor force, and this could be attributed to several factors," Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said.

"Some have come out of retirement, and others may have graduated from college or trade school and are now putting their education into practice,” she added.

The governor attributed the reduced unemployment rate to the childcare program, Prugråman Pinilan, "which invested millions of dollars into afterschool programs, childcare facilities, and helping families with childcare, improved conditions for parents so they could return to work and secure better working conditions. I’m proud this investment has translated into meaningful results.”

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