24,000 employed with $142 million in wages: report

By Alexander Rheeney 23 May 2022, 1:25AM

Employment statistics released by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics show over 24,000 people were employed in Samoa’s formal sector with wages totalling $142 million.

The statistics were part of a S.B.S. report for the March 2022 Quarter and was dated Thursday 19 May 2022. 

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Samoa’s employment numbers was felt across a broad range of sectors with the report stating that job numbers in the March 2022 quarter went down by 0.5 per cent, which made it the tenth consecutive quarter of negative growth since December 2019.

Following the detection of Samoa’s COVID-19 community case on 17 March 2022, the report stated that normal business operations continued to “yield job losses and layoffs in some of the hardest hit economic sectors” of Samoa’s economy.

“Restaurants, communication, business services and construction are some of the industries that recorded significant declines in employment of 11.6 per cent, 11.5 per cent, 6.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively in the March 2022 quarter compared to March 2021 quarter.”

In terms of the employment levels, the report said the total number of people employed in Samoa’s formal sector in the March 2022 quarter was 24,087 of which 56.1 per cent were male and 43.9 per cent were female.

“Males received the biggest share of 54.2 per cent while females received only 45.8 per cent of total wages,” reads the report. “The quarterly average wages for the March 2022 quarter amounted to $5913. 

“Males may have received the largest share of total wages but their average wage was much less compared to females.

“Male quarterly average wages amounted to $5,713 whereas females quarterly average wages amounted to $6,166.

“Female average wage was 7.7 per cent higher compared to those of males.”

For employment population by sector, the report said the Services sector remains Samoa’s largest employer accounting for 61.9 per cent of the total formal population. Public Administration (in Government) followed as the second largest employer to account for 25.7 per cent with the Secondary sector coming third with 11.4 per cent.

As to the distribution of the employment industry, the report said their data showed Public Administration to have most of the employees who make up about 25.7 per cent of which 45.6 per cent were males and 54.4 per cent females. Commerce was runner-up as the second largest employer accounting for 16.2 per cent of the total with the other industries following.

For average wages paid to those in the employment sector, workers in the Communication industry were the most highly paid with the male average earnings of $12,306 to top the average quarterly. Finance services came second with a recorded average quarterly wage of $10,302 followed by Electricity and Water at $8,857 and $8,748 respectively.

In terms of employment by sex, the industries that recorded more than 75 per cent of males employed included Construction, Electricity, Agriculture, Water and Transport when compared to the female population. 

Despite Public Administration sector employment of the highest number of males (20.9 per cent of total male employment) and highest total wages paid ($21.9 million), this industry did not have the highest average wages paid out.

By Alexander Rheeney 23 May 2022, 1:25AM
Samoa Observer

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