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Businesses ask why ASG needs job fair when it has “large workforce”

Temporary Senate chamber
Lawmakers raise questions over increase of ASG employees

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The total number of positions funded in the ASG final fiscal year 2022 budget is 6,978 — compared to 6,981 in the current FY 2021 budget, according to the Governor’s “Executive Summary” final FY 2022 budget report distributed to lawmakers during the opening of the joint Fono session last week Monday.

But several lawmakers have already raised questions as to the actual number of ASG workers, especially in the Executive Branch, which has continued to hire more workers since the start of this year. And some lawmakers are already planning to seek from the ASG Human Resources Department the latest update on the total ASG workforce, as DHR plans to hold two Job Fairs next month.

In the report to the Fono, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga points out that employment numbers have been about the same as last year. “It should be noted that more workers are converting from contract to career service,” he said.

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga during his last year in office encouraged directors to protect ASG workers by converting contract workers to career service employees — especially in the Executive Branch.

According to data in the executive summary report, of the total ASG workforce in the proposed FY 2022 budget, there are just over 5,400 in career service (compared to 5,047 in FY 2021) and just over 1,500 are contract workers (compared to more than 1,900 in FY 2021).

Of the total workforce, just over 2,460 are funded with local revenues; 2,511 positions are funded by federal grants; and 2,001 positions are funded under Enterprise Funds — which includes ASG semi autonomous agencies.


As the ASG workforce continues to grow, especially now that the governor has increased the government minimum wage to $7.25 per hour — or about $15,080 annually —the Human Resources Department, with the support of the Department of Commerce (DOC) is planning on hosting two Island Wide Job & Internship Fairs next month.

An event notice on DHR’s website states that the first job-fair event will be at the DYWA facility in Tafuna on August 19th and the second one, on August 20th at DYWA in Pago Pago

“We are inviting the ASG departments, public and private sectors to join us for this important event and to showcase their business and what services they offer, as well as to advertise any jobs that are open,” the notice states.

Samoa News first learned of the job fairs two weeks ago from two local companies, whose representatives questioned why the government is holding job fairs, when it already has a “large workforce” and now with the new minimum wage increase “will take away more workers from the private sector.”