Workers Paid More in Last Quarter of 2016
Despite the economic and fiscal crisis that continues to permeate Puerto Rico, employees were paid more during fourth-quarter (4Q) 2016 compared with the same time period a year ago, according to the Department of Labor & Human Resources.
Total wages paid by industries in Puerto Rico during 4Q 2016 amounted to more than $6.573 billion, reflecting an increase of $701.897 million compared with total salaries paid during 4Q 2015, or $5.871 billion, according to the Industrial Composition by Municipality study issued this month.
This represents an increase of 11.95% in total salaries paid.
However, during this same period, the number of workers in Puerto Rico dropped by 11,000. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 1.128 million employed people on the island during 4Q 2015, compared with 1.117 million during 4Q 2016.
The areas that recorded the highest salaries during 4Q 2016 were Public Administration with $1.056 billion in total salaries paid out; Educational Services reached $759.377 million; Manufacturing $751.425 million; Retail $679.859 million; and Health & Social Assistance Services $674.614 million.
In the manufacturing sector, the highest wages were recorded in the areas of Chemicals $279.534 million; Miscellaneous Manufacturing Industries with $115.805 million; and Food $79.106 million.
The municipalities that recorded the highest salaries were San Juan with $2.2 billion; Guaynabo $420.6 million; Bayamón $363.929 million; Carolina $312.574 million; Caguas $306.45 million; and Ponce $304.053 million.
The average quarterly wage per worker during 4Q 2016 was $7,223 ($569 more than the same quarter of the previous year). The following industries that reflected the highest average salaries were Company & Business Management with $14,219; Electricity, Water & Gas with $11,643; Finance & Insurance $11,476; Wholesale Trade $10,791; and Professional & Technical Services $10,780.
The municipalities with the highest wages paid to workers during that period were Juncos with $11,530; San Juan with $8,735; Guaynabo $8,639; Las Piedras $8,046; and Cataño $8,002. The towns with the lowest average quarterly salaries per worker were Trujillo Alto with $4,765; Lares $4,729; Cabo Rojo $4,639; Orocovis $4,593; and Las Marias $4,423.
—Editor Rosario Fajardo contributed to this story.