Sharp increase in job openings


The CNMI Department of Labor’s Division of Employment Services reports that the CNMI saw a sharp increase in job openings in December 2022 compared to a month before that.

Citing a report by the DOL’s Division of Employment Services, acting DOL secretary Leila Staffler said that, although December 2022 was a tough year for most employers due to delays in the processing of Temporary Labor Certifications, the CNMI still saw a massive increase in job openings compared to November 2022.

In December 2022, DOL saw an over 160% increase in job openings compared to November 2022.

“December 2022 was a challenging month for some employers facing dilemmas with the U.S. Department of Labor in delays of the TLC determination of their Notice of Acceptance to proceed with the posting requirement and other factors with USCIS’ CW-1 ‘Touchback’ rule. [However] the number of job openings reported a sharp increase of 160.52% when compared to November 2022’s at 466, with December at 1,214,” she said.

The Top 5 highest number of job openings were construction and extractions occupations, with 380 job openings; installation, maintenance, and repair occupations, with 270; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations, with 196 openings; food preparation and serving related occupations, with 135; and production occupations, with 43 openings, Staffler said.

According to her, the increase just means that despite the hurdles the CNMI economy has faced due to the setbacks in the tourism industry, occupations like maintenance and construction remain solid due to ongoing developments in the CNMI.

“Despite the tourism industry setback by Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018 followed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the three major occupations group in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 as of Dec. 31 remain sturdy due to existing structures, recovery projects, ongoing new and current development projects. These occupations are construction and extraction occupations, installation, maintenance and repair occupations, followed by building and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupations,” she said.

Meanwhile, compared to December 2021, it was reported that the total number of job openings increased by 39.86% in December 2022.

“In December 2022, the total number of job openings reported was 1,214. When compared to last year’s December 2021 at 868, job openings show an increase of 39.86%,” said Staffler.

The Top 5 highest number of job openings are the same.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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