Samoa's wage bill totalled $555 million in 2018

Total wages paid out to Samoans working in the formal employment sector for the year ending December 2018 amounted to $555.2 million.

This was stated in the Samoa Bureau of Statistics quarterly report on employment statistics for December 2018.  Males received the biggest share of total wages with $300.7 million or 54.2 percent and females sharing $254.5 million or 45.8 percent. 

Total average yearly wages received in 2018 was $22,805. Females recorded the highest average yearly wage of $24,335 which was 12.4 percent higher than the average annual wage of males.

In terms of wage growth, industries such as education, public administration, personal services, construction, communication and commerce contributed positively with increases in wages paid out of 10.3 percent, 8.9 percent, 8.4 percent, 7.7 percent, 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent respectively. 

The report highlighted that wages and salaries for the September 2018 quarter recorded a $137 million (1.8 percent) increase over its corresponding period of 2017.

This is influenced mainly by the increase in wages and salaries in industries such as restaurants, education, transport, wages, fishing, food manufacturing, public administration, construction, personal services and electricity.

A look at the male wages and average wages outlines the public administration sector, despite having the highest total wages paid of $20.9 million, the sector was fourth in terms of average wages, behind communications, which had and average quarterly earning of $13.724 and recorded wages of $3.1 million. 

Finance Services and Health had the second and third highest average quarterly wages of $9,506 and $9,060 respectively. Commerce recorded an average quarterly wages of $3,979 making it the seventh lowest average wages for males. The lowest average quarterly wages for males were reported in restaurants and agriculture industries with average wages of $2,659 and $1,837 respectively. 

Similar to males, public administration had the highest total wages paid to females, but was not the highest in terms of average quarterly wages. 

Electricity recorded the highest average quarterly wages in the December 2018 quarter of $9,066, followed by Health and Finance Services with average quarterly wages of $9,041 and $8,396 respectively. 

Commerce, which had the third highest value of wages paid to females, was ranked the sixth lowest industry in terms of female average quarterly wages. The lowest average quarterly wages for females were in the agriculture, accommodation and restaurant industries with $3,271, $2,766 and $2,365 respectively. 

The 12 months review highlighted in the report, indicated that the wage index increased by 3.6 percent, and it has consistently increased over the past five years despite a decrease in employment index in 2017, which affected employment and not the total wages paid out. 

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