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Guam's average hourly wage 33 percent below national average

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Workers in Guam had an average hourly wage of $20.05 last year, 33 percent below the national average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

Sampling figures from May 2022, the comparative study found that management positions were highest paid at $40.58 an hour, followed by legal professions at $38.58 an hour.

After testing for statistical significance, Guam wages were lower than their respective national averages in all of the 22 major occupational groups, according to Chris Resenlund, the bureau's regional commissioner.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Guam area employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction, protective service, and management. Twelve groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, healthcare practitioners and technical, and healthcare support.

Office and administrative support occupations accounted for the largest share of local employment at 13.7 percent.

Among individual occupations, cashiers were the most common job in the area with 2,230 workers.

The bureau said the construction and extraction group was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories.

Guam had 6,310 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 10.6 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 4.1 percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.45, significantly below the national wage of $28.08.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the construction and extraction group included carpenters (1,380), construction laborers (1,090), and cement masons and concrete finishers (650).

Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers and construction and building inspectors, with mean hourly wages of $24.27 and $23.16, respectively.

At the lower end of the wage scale were construction laborers ($12.65) and helpers--electricians ($14.60).

"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," the bureau said.

"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 8.2 times the national rate in Guam, and carpenters, at five times the U.S. average.

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