Two new reports on the Marshall Islands suggest why emigration to the United States continues at a steady pace.
While employment levels in the Marshall Islands government have grown, jobs in the private sector declined dramatically in the last fiscal year.
An economic review by Graduate School USA shows private sector jobs peaked at nearly 5,000 in 2010 and steadily dropped to about 4,200 in the last year.
Another recent report, this one by the Asian Development Bank, said the Marshalls has the highest poverty rate in the Pacific islands.
The main drivers of the job losses are the Pan Pacific Foods tuna loining plant dropping nearly 300 staff since 2010, and a fall in construction demand.
The ADB said over half the Marshall Islands population lives below the national poverty line, with the next worst being Timor Leste.
It said 60 percent of the Marshall Islands population aged 15 years and above is unemployed.