SJ metro area workers earn 40% below nat’l average
Workers in the San Juan-Carolina-Caguas area had an average hourly wage of $14.24 in May 2016, about 40 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, average wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in all of the 22 major occupational groups.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in seven of the 22 occupational groups, including protective service; office and administrative support; and sales and related.
Conversely, 14 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; healthcare support; and computer and mathematical.
One occupational group — protective service — was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories.
San Juan-Carolina-Caguas had 48,430 jobs in protective service, accounting for 7.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 2.4-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $12.37, significantly below the national wage of $22.03, the agency said.
Some of the largest detailed occupations within the protective service group included security guards (20,510); police and sheriff’s patrol officers (14,400); and first-line supervisors of police and detectives (2,790).
Among the higher paying jobs were detectives and criminal investigators and first-line supervisors of police and detectives, with mean hourly wages of $30.26 and $17.95, respectively.
At the lower end of the wage scale were security guards ($8.53) and lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers ($9.91).
“Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average,” the BLS said.
For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally.
“In the San Juan-Carolina-Caguas Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the protective service group,” the BLS said.
For instance, bailiffs were employed at 10.4 times the national rate in San Juan, and first-line supervisors of police and detectives, at 5.8 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, firefighters had a location quotient of 0.9 in San Juan, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.
These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and state workforce agencies — in this case, the Puerto Rico Department of Labor and Human Resources.