21 Jul 2005

Hundreds looking for work in CNMI after garment industry closures

8:22 pm on 21 July 2005

The director of the Employment Services and Training in the Northern Marianas says foreign workers are registering as unemployed for the first time in the wake of mass garment industry shutdowns.

The Marianas Variety has published figures showing the garment factory closures and workforce reduction have left more than 2300 non-residents jobless in the CNMI.

Alfred Pangelinan says there are less than 700 people have registered with his office over the last 2 months looking for work.

But he says there is no doubt there are many more struggling to find jobs.

"The figure are just those people that are coming into my office registering but there are other unemployed individuals who go out there on their own looking for a job as well as a filing application on their own and they are not registering with us."

Mr Pangelinan says it is the first time in his 15 years working for the department that he has seen foreign works registering.

Since the US lifted its global quota in January, many garment factories have either closed down or significantly reduced their workforces.