Sunday, August 9, 2009

One-in-four jobs on Guam are government jobs

Unemployment on Guam* always seems to be around 8% and above even in good times, but the island's employment has been relatively stable in this downturn.

Private sector employment fell from 45,580 to 44,910 from June 2008 to June 2009 a net decline of 670 jobs or 1.5%, according the Guam Labor Dept.’s most recent employment report. 

Guam's total employment, which is the sum of the public and private sector labor force, is 59,340, a decline of 590 from a year ago or a 1% decrease. Not bad for a recession.

A major reason for this relative stability (no real job growth or decline) is the high percentage of people who work for Guam's government or as a federal civilian.

The government of Guam, which includes utilities, employed 10,640 in June, a reduction of 80 jobs over 12 months. The federal government employed 3,790 people in June, an increase of 160 jobs from a year ago. In total, about one in four people on Guam works for the government.

Regarding population:
2000: 155,000
2008: 171,000
Excepted population after
military build-up: 196,000

*Unemployment data for Guam, at least for me, seems difficult to come by. If anyone knows a source that reports quarter-by-quarter trends, please let me know.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Guam Weather, Typhoon Season, and 236 mph wind gust

The Pacific typhoon season runs from May to November. Guam is in a typhoon genesis area, an area near and around typhoon formation. When I was in the Navy I worked at the Fleet Weather Central/Joint Typhoon Center and our primary job was to track typhoons.

One of the strongest storms to ever hit Guam was Super Typhoon Paka on December, 1997. It struck with sustained winds that may have reached 185 mph with a gust recorded at Andersen Air Force Base (in the north near the storm eye) that reached an astonishing 236 miles per hour. It was as if the island had been hit by a giant tornado.

By contrast, Hurricane Camille, which hit the Gulf Coast in 1969, had sustained winds of 190 mph, with estimated gusts near 200 mph. Hurricane Allen in 1980, which struck Northern Mexico and Southern Texas also had sustained winds of 190 mph.

The threat from super typhoons is the reason most structures on the island are made of concrete; often low rising buildings with flat roofs. The damage caused by Paka was extensive, especially to wood structures. Guam residents know how to cope with these storms but Paka was a test.

It's been pretty quiet so far this year. Wikipedia does an outstanding job keeping record of the major tropical events this season. The latest weather event is Tropical Storm Morakot. which is nearly a 1,000 miles NW of Guam as a write this. The weather has been unstable and rainy on Guam, pictured above, the result of Morakot, which is outside this photo in the upper left.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Jobs on Guam

I was checking to see how many federal jobs are available on Guam and, surprisingly, there were over 3,000 results after typing in the word “Guam” as a location. But refining the search to “Guam” as the keyword, and "Agana" as the city with a search radius of 60 miles (covering the entire island), produced a different result: 36 Guam specific jobs.

Among the federal jobs: Mandarin teacher with U.S. DOD, office automation clerk, electronics engineer, and fire protection, among others.
turned up 13 results, but six were Army National Guard enlistment teasers.

Some other sources:
Pacific Daily News listed about 35 jobs, many in the travel related area.

Interesting find on PDN: The American Red Cross is looking for
an emergency services director.

University of Guam always
has a fair number of jobs.

Great link collection to various government sites here

Guam Department of Labor has resources and links.