Average Wage In CNMI Down From 2011

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Workforce Assessment Study released full of vital stats

By Frauleine S. Villanueva

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, June 18, 2015) – Results of the 2014 CNMI Prevailing Wage and Workforce Assessment Study of the Department of Commerce’s Central Statistics Division were released to the public yesterday.

According to the report, the average hourly rate in the whole of the CNMI is $8.71.

Compared to the 2011 data of the CNMI-wide hourly rate excluding fringe benefit, the current rate is lower by $0.11. An almost $1 difference can be noted when compared to the 2011 hourly rate including fringe benefits.

Per island, the latest average hourly rate on Saipan is $8.74. It is higher by almost $0.50 from Tinian’s $8.26, and Rota has a lower hourly rate of $8.09.

Hourly wages by occupation and sex, age, ethnicity, citizenship and employment status can also be seen in the report.

"The study helps determine prevailing wage rates in all occupations with breakouts by industry, demography, and geography in the CNMI," Commerce Secretary Mark Rabauliman said.

"In the appendices of the report, we listed all the detail occupations along with their standard occupational codes, minimum and maximum hourly rate, mean hourly rate, standard deviation hourly rate, and median hourly rate," added Statistics Division director Alfonsis Sound.

Press Secretary Ivan Blanco noted that according to Rabauliman, fringe benefits data were collected from the businesses in the 2014 data, but was not the case for those that are from the public sector.

"To highlight a few of the findings based on this study, there are 25,658 employees in the CNMI, 21,643 are in the private sector and 4,015 are in the public sector. There are 22 major occupations and 425 detail occupations in the CNMI," Sound said.

According to the study, 13,996 of the employees are male and 11,662 are female.

Critical data

Gov. Eloy S. Inos said the completion of the survey is important as it addresses the requirement needs of employers when submitting their Labor Condition Application to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification.

"This report is also critical to ensure that U.S. worker wages in the same occupation are not adversely affected in the recruitment of foreign workers requiring prevailing wage(s) for their compensation. Our collective efforts in getting the next prevailing wage study update is critical for all CNMI employers and workers alike," Inos said.

"U.S. Public Law 110-229 required that CNMI employers seeking to hire new employees from outside the CNMI pay a wage equal to or above the average hourly wage rate for the particular occupation the employer is seeking to fill," Rabauliman said.

Aside from determining the type of occupations that exist and measuring occupation-specific wage rates for each of the identified occupations in the CNMI’s economy, the study also aimed to assess the current types and level of skills in the business community to determine areas that might benefit from training and enhancement.

For Labor Secretary Edith Deleon Guerrero, the report will be used as a tool for the enforcement efforts of her department as well as to develop CNMI’s workforce.

"It also assesses current type and level of skills in existing occupations in the CNMI to help shape educational and training needs of the current labor force; and, assist in policy making decision in the public and private sectors," Deleon Guerrero said.

The 2014 survey is an update of the survey done in 2011. Both survey reports are available at the Commerce website: http://commerce.gov.mp/divisions/central-statistics/.

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