Labor official: Hundreds of CW-1 contracts terminated

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HUNDREDS of CNMI-Only Transitional Worker Visa contracts have been terminated following the reduction in force implemented by local businesses, CNMI Labor Division of Employment Services Director Eugene Tebuteb said on Wednesday.

CNMI Labor Employment Services Division Director Eugene Tebuteb speaks during the Workforce Resource Fair at the multi-purpose center on Wednesday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

In a PowerPoint presentation regarding the impact, so far, of the global Covid-19 outbreak on the CNMI economy, Tebuteb said at least 13 companies, mostly hotel operators, have notified his office of their intention to “scale down” their operations.

Tebuteb was one of the speakers at the Workforce Resource Fair held at the multi-purpose center for employees of private, government, and non-profit organizations.

Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh in her presentation said hotel operators are doing all they can to retain their employees.

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the CNMI economy “is going to get worse before it will start to get better,” she said.

But there are still many visitors who want to travel to the CNMI and are very likely to visit the islands again once the outbreak is over, she added.

There’s a “pent-up need” to travel among South Koreans, for example, Cavanagh said, referring to the CNMI’s primary tourism market.

She said it is also not very easy to hire employees, and that is why hotel operators are doing all they can to retain their workers while reducing operations.

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In his presentation, Tebuteb said in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu, which destroyed the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport and affected tourist arrivals, the number of job vacancy announcements went down by 11.2%, and the number of job openings declined by 18.5% compared to the same period in 2017.

He said following the global Covid-19 outbreak, there has been an 81.1% decrease in JVA postings, and a 71 % decrease in job openings.

From an average of 6,554 during the same period last year, the number of JVA postings went down to 1,234 while the number of job opening announcements dropped to 7,668 from 26,509, he added.

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