US labor report: Guam's average hourly wage 33% below nationwide average



Workers in Guam had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.01 in May 2020, 33 percent below the nationwide average of $27.07, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.


Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that, after testing for statistical significance, all 22 major occupational groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages.


When compared to the nationwide distribution, Guam area employment was more highly concentrated in eight of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction, food preparation and serving related, and management.


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


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



BLS said Guam had 5,480 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 8.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 4.3-percent share nationally.


The survey found that the average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.71, significantly below the national wage of $25.93.


Some of the larger detailed occupations within the construction and extraction group included carpenters (1,010), construction laborers (940), and electricians (410).


Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were earth drillers, except oil and gas; and explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters and first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, with mean hourly wages of $24.43 and $21.86, respectively.


At the lower end of the wage scale were miscellaneous construction and related workers ($10.14) and construction laborers ($10.92).


BLS said location quotients allowed surveyors to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average.


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In the Guam area, 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 4.3 times the national rate in Guam, and construction and maintenance painters at 3.8 times the U.S. average.

BLS said the statistics in the report came from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Guam Department of Labor.



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