Government

Women head Puerto Rico’s public sector workforce

Puerto Rico Statistics Institute Executive Director Mario Marazzi (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual) Puerto Rico Statistics Institute Executive Director Mario Marazzi (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Women represent 54 percent of Puerto Rico’s public-sector workforce, while the median age of all government workers is 45 years old, according to a study released by the island’s Statistics Institute over the weekend.

The findings included in the public service database also show that one-third of public employees are high school graduates, while another one-third has a bachelor’s degree. Government workers with a master’s degree represent 11 percent of the public sector workforce, the agency revealed.

On average, public workers earn between $12 and $14.99 an hour, and less than 1 percent of them are physically challenged.

“In times of great change in our government, it is essential to have a measurement tool for public employees, their gender, age, income, educational level, and years of service, among others,” said the Institute’s Executive Director Mario Marazzi-Santiago.

The findings are part of a study that took three years to complete by an inter-agency team that gathered information on the socio-economic conditions of the labor force of 244 public entities, covering virtually all public servants occupying government posts.

Representatives from the Comptroller’s Office, the Office of Management and Budget and the Municipal Affairs Commissioner, among others, took part in the workgroup that last year conducted the first Puerto Rican public sector census, known as the “AnnualRegistry ofPostsbyDemographics.”

Census data released most recently include statistics on gender, age, educational achievement, disability, compensation, hours, and years of service of people in positions in each of the government’s public entities, whether agencies, public corporations, municipalities, as well as the Legislative and Judicial branch, among others.

Highest salaries in gov’t
Late last month, the Statistics Institute, in collaboration with Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, disclosed information related to public sector salaries, noting that the average pay is wide-ranging and depends on the type of institution they work for.

The “Progreso Económico” bulletin produced by the public-private team noted that federal government employees in Puerto Rico earn the most, with average annual salaries reaching $70,000 in 2012, followed by state and municipal government peers.

“In some of Puerto Rico’s public agencies, employees can earn more than double their counterparts in the rest of the state government. These agencies require, in some cases, highly skilled personnel given the type of responsibilities they perform. Even then the wage difference is substantial and therefore it is essential to evaluate the criteria used to establish pay scales,” the publication noted.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the publication concluded that Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority employees are among the island’s best paid, which could carry significant weight upon the agency’s widely publicized fiscal problems.

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