Guam's position is about the same distance (1,500 miles) from Manila, Philippines and Tokyo, Japan and about 3,800 miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii. This important strategic position with the east-Asian realm gives Guam a reason for military importance. While high atmospheric humidity and high air temperatures in the 80-degree Fahrenheit range prevails, the island can be quite comfortable during the months of December through April when the trade winds are strongest and the humidity is lower.

Not-so-rosy developments in the Guam economy include local government's continued fiscal challenges, a mixed employment picture and a sluggish real estate market. The economic environment had changed significantly; its costs had increased, challenging the tight budget situations of both the U.S. and Japan governments.

The latest unemployment rate estimate from the Guam Department of Labor was 11.8% in March 2012, which is lower than the 13.3% figure a year earlier. Despite the decline in the rate, the overall employment picture is mixed: Useful information or answers were scarce, even to the question of whether the military build-up in Guam would even take place.

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