Guam economy by the numbers:
Unemployment: 17.3% (3.6% in third quarter 2019; excludes people working reduced hours)
Real estate sales: $384 million as at Nov. 30 (down 12% from 2019)
MilCon forecast: $600 million at buildup peak of 2023 in NAVFAC Marianas projects
Sources: Guam Chamber of Commerce Economic Forecast for 2021, Guam Department of Labor, Cornerstone Valuation, Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Marianas, Guam Visitors Bureau, Marianas Business Journal
Workers want hybrid work model
Working part of the time in the office and part of the time at home is a preferred solution for 72% of workers that Jones Lang Lasalle surveyed in October. Many workers already experience that, according to JLL.
In a survey of 2,033 office workers in 10 countries spanning major industry sectors, the U.S. commercial real estate services company found the number of days worked remotely “is expected to double post-crisis, going from 1.2 days pre-pandemic to 2.4 days a week post-pandemic.” In addition, the survey found “75% are expecting their employer to support their work at home, and one in three is asking for a dedicated allowance.”
Of the total surveyed, JLL said “24% of employees want to work exclusively in the office and 50% prefer a hybrid approach — which means that nearly three-quarters want the ability to come into an office.”
Readers can find the survey at https://www.us.jll.com/en/trends-and-insights/research/global-workforce-expectations-shifting-due-to-covid-19.
Online Philippines job fair offers overseas and local jobs
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Bureau of Local Employment are offering “more than 21,000 overseas and local job opportunities” in a job fair on Dec. 10 and Dec. 11, through 600 domestic companies and 15 recruitment agencies. Additional jobs are expected before the fair opens.
The Balik-trabaho e-jobs and online jobs fair is being organized by the Bureau of Local Employment and the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration with partner agencies.
For overseas jobs, most vacancies are for factory workers, nurses, nursing aides, and care workers.
There are also vacancies for engineers, CAD operators, telecommunications rigging technicians, maintenance technicians, carpenters, foreman, laborers, and building cleaning workers.
Also offered are job vacancies for supervisors, physical fitness coaches, cake decorators, cooks, food servers, restaurant workers, wait staff, counter service staff and service staff.
Countries of destination include Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore, as well as destinations in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
USO opens on U.S. Naval Base Guam; a fourth facility likely in the future
The United Service Organization facility opened its doors to its third facility on Dec. 8 at U.S. Naval Base Guam at the new Camp Covington location. The 6,000 square foot center features high-speed wireless internet, a sports lounge with big screen televisions, a gaming room with the latest equipment, a conference room for private meetings or gatherings, a café, reading areas, and massage chairs. In Phase One of its opening, NBG USO will open doors for service members from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the center will host up to 20 people at a time, a Dec. 8 release said.
The USO also has a facility in Tumon in the Royal Orchid Guam Hotel and at Andersen Air Force Base.
Guam Area Programs Manager and USO NBG Center Manager Edmund Lebita told the Journal, “USO Naval Base Guam will be our third center on the island and we have had discussions with the Marines for a fourth center on Camp Blas in the coming years.”
NDAA includes bonuses for NMI
The National Defense Authorization Act includes measures to make the Northern Mariana Islands “eligible for funding to establish a Small Business Development Center Lead Center. It will also provide technical assistance to Marianas small businesses interested in seed funding,” according to a Dec. 5 release from Gregorio Camacho “Kilili” Sablan, the NMI’s delegate to Congress. The act will also add the NMI and other insular areas to the Amber Alert system.
First batches of vaccines for Guam on way
Guam currently has three ultra-low temperature freezers capable of storing COVID-19 vaccines. The first allocation of vaccines is anticipated to arrive mid- to late December.
The three ULT freezers were previously acquired for other purposes. Through a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, local and federal health officials are monitoring daily temperature logging of the three ULT freezers to ensure they function properly. Two of the three freezers will be operational while the third will offer redundancy.
In addition, DPHSS has ensured all three ULT freezers are in locations equipped with backup generators. The vaccination storage sites will be manned with security personnel 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Health and Social Services placed its first order of 3,900 doses of Pfizer vaccines or “Vaccine A” on Dec. 4, with 3,900 more doses scheduled to be placed on Dec. 18. DPHSS has also been approved by the CDC to place a third order of 3,900 doses of Vaccine A, but no firm date was given of when it can place its third order.
|Shipment 1||3,900|| |
|TOTAL DOSES: 11,700||TOTAL IMMUNIZED: 5,850|
*The first shipment of 3,900 vaccines will be allocated as a first dose while the second shipment of 3,900 will be allocated as a second dose 21 days later.
**The third shipment of 3,900 doses will then be divided into two doses for 1,950 individuals spaced 21 days apart.
The 11,700 doses will fully immunize 5,850 people. Details about the Vaccine and Antiviral Prioritization Policy Committee, which will advise DPHSS on critical population groups who will receive the first round of vaccines and other COVID-19 vaccine-related matters, will be announced soon.
Guam driver’s licenses extended
The Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation is extending all Guam drivers licenses, Guam IDs and drivers permits into 2021, unless there is a return to normal operations prior to Dec. 31.
Check www.guamtax.com for 2021 renewal dates, depending on expiration date.
Nominations by Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress
- Jennifer M. Romero for assistant secretary of the Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior – a former graduate of St. John’s School, with native Hawaiian Affairs and legislative experience.
- Michelle Kramer, managing director of Pacific International Inc. (Guam) for U.S. Ambassador to the Marshall Islands.
- Anthony Borja, retired Air U.S. Air Force major for U.S. Ambassador to Palau
NMI IDs five additional positives on arrival
The Northern Mariana Islands Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. advised Dec. 7 that five additional travelers tested positive on arrival in Saipan. The NMI has identified 111 positive cases, the majority of which have been identified on arrival in the NMI.
Bank temporarily closed
Bank of Guam announced Dec.5 that from Dec. 7 through Dec. 18 its Naval Station Branch will be closed due to base construction work in the area. Nearby Naval Station ATMs include Navy Exchange, Camp Covington, Orote Commissary, Guam Mini Mart and Naval Hospital Mini Mart. The nearest branch is the Bank’s Hagatna location. Digital services continue to be available through www.bankofguam.com and Customer Support at 472-5300. mbj