UNEMPLOYMENT ON THE RISE IN THE NORTHERN MARIANAS

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SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands (December 14, 2001 -- Radio Australia)---The Northern Mariana Islands’ tourism-based economy has seen its unemployment rate more than double in the past year.

Between January and November, nearly 2,000 people sought government help to find jobs compared with 862 a year ago. This is an increase of 130 percent.

The soaring unemployment rate is attributed to the lasting effects on air-based travel and tourism of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Of the 2,000 people registered as looking for work in the Northern Marianas in the past year, just 200, or one in nine, were successful in securing a new job.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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