30 Aug 2011

Economic slowdown in American Samoa forecast to get worse

7:20 am on 30 August 2011

American Samoa's Department of Commerce says the economic slowdown facing the Territory is forecast to get worse with the resumption of annual wage hikes in 2012 and continuing to 2018.

This as the 2010 Census for American Samoa shows a 3 per cent decline between 2000 and 2010.

The Department of Commerce's Director, Faleseu Eliu Paopao, says reduced federal funding is expected once stimulus and tsunami recover funding ends.

Faleseu says these funds did a lot to reduce the impact of the job losses from the Samoa Packing closure, and their loss may create a real economic challenge.

He say the territory is now engaged in an economic recovery strategy to stop the decline in employment and government revenues.

The strategy includes an analysis of federal minimum wage policy, diversification of the fishing industry, tourism expansion, improved training of workforce, and other initiatives.

He says more attention is being devoted to creating jobs based on local resources, and equipping local workers to fill those jobs rather than depending on foreign employees.