Labor Secretary Vicky Benavente is reminding that all CNMI businesses are required to submit soon a quarterly report that lists their total workforce and workforce plan.
Benavente told Saipan Tribune that the data collected in these quarterly reports reiterates the CNMI’s workforce struggles annually.
“Without this data, we can’t prove to anyone that we do not have enough U.S. workers in the workforce,” she told Saipan Tribune.
According to Benavente, the quarterly reports are a part of the CNMI DOL regulations and is required of businesses. It helps keep track of the number of positions and type of jobs that are currently available in the CNMI.
Data compiled last year noted 41,902 job openings reported to DOL from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018.
“All this information we tally up. …It shows that even with a workforce of 22,000, it is still not enough because there are businesses that want to develop more—retail shops, restaurants, hotels, and even apartments,” Benavente noted. “They can’t because they don’t have construction workers and they need to see how they can hire for [their manpower needs].”
The data also touches a bit on the prevailing wages of occupations in the CNMI.
In recent years, Benavente noted, the number of businesses that participate in the submission of the quarterly reports have been climbing.
“We used to get 200 employers submitting documents and now we are getting close to a thousand and I am very happy about that,” she said. She did clarify that failure to participate in the quarterly report submissions result in a sanction from the CNMI DOL.
“I don’t want to go that route. I want the businesses to understand that this report helps them,” she said, noting that the reports are provided to the U.S. Congress and proves how dependent the CNMI is on foreign labor.