The Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas is experiencing a fall on Job Vacancy Announcements or JVAs in the first quarter of 2019. Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente shared this to members of the Rotary Club of Saipan during their usual Tuesday meetings yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Saipan.
She said that the CNMI DOL’s 2019 first quarter JVA numbers dropped by 10% compared to 2018’s first quarter numbers. As of yesterday, the numbers show that 5,200 JVAs have been posted and only 14,000 job openings were seen.
Benavente reported that in 2016, there were over 6,000 JVAs with a total of 38,000 job openings.
She reports that 2017 saw a rise with about 8,000 JVAs and a total of 39,000 job openings.
Last year also saw a rise in JVAs as the CNMI Department of Labor received 9,000 JVAs and a significant rise of 42,000 job openings.
“The trend was continuing to grow, meaning the economy was strong and businesses were needing more people,” Benavente added.
Benavente points out that the causes behind the fall in 2019’s first quarter JVA numbers is from Super Typhoon Yutu and Typhoon Mangkhut; with both causing a significant amount of businesses to close down, observe reduced hours, or reduce employment numbers.
“There are some businesses still undergoing recovery,” Benavente said.
She states the other two causes are the removal of the Philippines from the H-2B worker visa program and the CNMI’s prevailing wage.
Benavente also thanked the United States Department of Labor for providing millions of dollars in disaster assistance.