The San Juan Daily Star
Average hourly wage reaches $15.54
By The Star Staff
According to the most recent publication of the 2022 Survey of Jobs and Wages by Occupation, the average hourly wage in Puerto Rico reached $15.54, Labor and Human Resources (DTRH by its Spanish initials) Secretary Gabriel Maldonado González said Wednesday.
“The world of work has undergone a transformation and paradigm shift in how employee-employer relationships work,” the labor chief said. “Today, the employee has much more control over the terms and conditions under which he or she decides to work for one employer or another, including compensation. On our island, we are also experiencing an economic resurgence whose effect has been to have a historically low unemployment rate, as well as a labor participation rate and total number of people in the work force and employees that were not seen for more than a decade. Together, all of these variables have created a high demand for additional employees, while we have come very close to the peak of the number of people who are traditionally available for work.”
“This, in turn, creates a fierce competition between employers to hire and retain talent, which, added to initiatives to increase the minimum wage promoted by the governor, Pedro Pierluisi, tend to increase the salary earned by Puerto Ricans,” Maldonado González said.
The report highlights that in addition to the increase in the average hourly wage to $15.54, the median hourly wage also increased, to $11.29. The previous year, those figures were $14.65 and $10.93, respectively.
Among the occupations with the highest average hourly wage in Puerto Rico in 2022, the following stand out: executive directors ($62.62), advertising and promotions managers ($58.99), obstetricians and gynecologists ($58.68), industrial production managers ($53.90), directors of architecture and engineering ($53.14), general pediatricians ($50.25), judges and magistrates ($48.54), marketing managers ($47.90), pharmacists ($46.40), air traffic controllers ($46.11), chemical engineers ($41.87), detectives and criminal investigators ($41.14), veterinarians ($40.72), medical and health services directors ($40.70) and purchasing managers ($38.65).
The highest average hourly wages among the major industry groups are: utility workers ($26.85); professional and technical services ($23.35); management of companies and enterprises ($22.98); information ($20.22); finance and insurance ($20.05); federal, state and local government, with some exceptions ($18.49); wholesale trade ($17.52); manufacturing ($17.06); public and private educational services ($16.97); health and social assistance services ($14.39); real estate, rent or lease ($13.81); construction ($13.38); arts, entertainment and recreation ($13.33); other services ($12.39); retail ($12.33); administrative services, waste management and remedial services ($11.29); housing and food services ($10.67); agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting ($10.18).
By segregating the data by minimum education level, as typically required by occupational classification, the new report reflected the following average hourly wage: doctorate or professional degree ($36.88); master’s degree ($21.82); bachelor’s degree ($25.09); associate degree ($16.93); non-graduate degree ($12.47); some non-undergraduate college ($12.56); high school diploma or its equivalent ($13.52), and occupations that do not require a formal education credential ($10.37).
Maldonado González also noted that according to Law No. 47-2021, also known as the Minimum Wage Law, the minimum wage in force on the island amounts to $8.50 per hour and will increase to $9.50 per hour as of July 1, with another scheduled increase amounting to $10.50 that is expected to enter into force on July 1, 2024.
Regarding projects associated with executive branch government agencies that are related to the reconstruction of Puerto Rico and are financed totally or partially with federal funds, workers in the construction industry who work on such projects are subject to a minimum wage of $15 per hour in the case of skilled employees and $11 per hour for non-skilled employees.
The Survey of Employment and Wage Statistics by Occupation is the product of a cooperative agreement between the DTRH and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.