27 Feb 2014

US draft report shows prices rising while employment down in territories

10:19 am on 27 February 2014

A United States draft report shows that over a five year period, prices in American Samoa rose by about five percent, more than the average annual earnings.

The draft, from the Government Accountability Office, follows a study late last year on the impact of federally-mandated minimum wages in American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands.

The first mandated US wage hike came into effect in 2007.

The draft is now being sent to officials of the two territories for comments to be included in the final report due to the US Congress in April this year before the next minimum wage hike takes effective in September next year.

For American Samoa, the report shows the total number of employees increased by 1.5 percent from 2011 to 2012.

However, employment declined 11 percent between 2007 and 2012.

Questionnaire responses from the tuna canning industry show its employment of hourly workers dropped by 13 percent from 2012 to 2013 and by 58 percent from 2007 to 2013.