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  • By Pacific island Times News Staff

Guam's hourly wage 31% below national average

Workers in Guam had an average (mean) hourly wage of $17.75 in May 2019, about 31 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 21 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management, computer and mathematical and legal.

The BLS report was based on statistics from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and the Guam Department of Labor.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in eight of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction, management, and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance.

Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, healthcare support, and healthcare practitioners and technical.

Other highlights:

· Legal occupations in the area were highest paid at $35.97 per hour followed by management occupations at $33.97 per hour.

· Construction and extraction occupations accounted for 7.2% of local employment, compared to 4.2 percent nationally.

· Office and administrative support occupations accounted for the largest share of local employment at 14.7 percent.

  • Among individual occupations, retail salespersons was the most common job in the area with 1,990 workers.

BLS picked the construction and extraction group to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories.

Guam had 4,610 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 7.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 4.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.44, significantly below the national wage of $25.28.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the construction and extraction group included carpenters (810), construction laborers (810), and electricians (390).


Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers and surface mining excavating and loading machine and dragline operators, with mean hourly wages of $21.03 and $20.31, respectively.

At the lower end of the wage scale were miscellaneous construction and related workers ($9.84) and construction laborers ($11.20).

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average.


For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In Guam, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group.

For instance, cement masons and concrete finishers were employed at 4.1 times the national rate in Guam, and construction and maintenance painters, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. Electricians had a location quotient of 1.3 in Guam, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

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