New data shows growth in jobs market

Employment numbers increased steadily over the second and third quarters of 2019, according to new pre-measles epidemic figures. 

Samoa Bureau of Statistics for the September 2019 Quarter Employment show that employment numbers went up by five per cent following eight per cent growth in June.

The new data, which ends on September 31, does not take into account any possible economic downturn caused by the measles epidemic declared on October 15. 

Also on a 12-monthly basis, from October 2018 to September 2019, the number of employed persons increased by nine per cent following a decline in employment index in years ending September 2017 and 2018.

The increase in employment numbers is owed to the increase in job opportunities in five main industries.

"Employment has consistently increased in the past five quarters and its trend has continued on in the quarter under review," the statistical bulletin reads.

"In the September 2019 quarter, the employment index recorded an increase of 0.5 per cent over the corresponding quarter of 2018. The quarter under review has also increased in terms of employment index by 0.8 per cent as compared to the June 2019 quarter."

"The industries that made significant positive contributions to the year-on-year increase in Employment Index were construction, electricity, water, commerce, communication and other services with increases of 9.5 per cent, 5.3 per cent, 4.7 per cent, 3.6 per cent, 3.5 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively."

Two of the highest contributing industries are construction and electricity. Construction is reported to be continuing a slow growth since its rapid decline in employment in 2017, while electricity has enjoyed positive growth for the last five consecutive quarters.

Of the total 24,636 individuals employed in Samoa, 56.9 per cent are males while 43.1 per cent are females. Males also have the bigger share of total wages but females earned 12.2 per cent more in terms of average wages.

"Total wages amounted to $141.6 million; Males received the biggest share (54.1 per cent) of total wages in the September 2019 quarter with females receiving only 45.9 per cent of total wages," the report reads.

"The total quarterly average wage for the September 2019 quarter amounted to $5,745. Although the larger share of total wages were earned by males; in terms of average wages females earned much more compared to males.

"Male quarterly average wages amount to $5,459 whereas females quarterly average wages was $6,127. Females thus earned 12.2  per cent more than the amount males earned in the quarter under review."

According to the report, the services sector remains the biggest employer responsible for 63.6 per cent of the total formal population. 

Public Administration is the second biggest employer employing around 23.7 per cent, with the Secondary Sector with 11.6 per cent while only 1.1 per cent of the total was employed in the Primary Sector. 

"At the industry level, the majority of formal employment was in the Public Administration which made up about 23.7 per cent of the total employed, of which 46.8 per cent were males and 53.2 per cent were females. 

"Commerce was the second biggest employer comprising 15.0 per cent of the number of people employed; 62.0 per cent were males and 38.0 per cent were females."

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