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UP-TO-DATE EMPLOYMENT DATA

Virgin Islands Employment and Wages February 17, 1999
A number of observations may be made about the aggregate Virgin Islands economy through the level of employment and wages paid.

1. Employment in the territory is near where it was 12 years ago, at about 43,600, through year to date November 1998. Through 1993, employment had been growing since the 1960s.
2. Though very negative in and of itself, we are, at least, slowly improving from the worst that came just after Hurricane Marilyn, when it dropped to 43,376 for the year. On a by island basis, St. Croix' labor force has dropped by about 800 or 4% and employment has declined by 700 since 1995. St. Thomas/St.John are now about equal to the levels of 1995.
3. Wages earned are actually more important regarding the condition of the economy as they measure the level of domestic aggregate demand and equal about 3/4 of the value of the Gross Territorial Product. The real value of all wages earned in the territory is the best available and meaningful measure of aggregate demand or expenditure by residents. From the late 1970s to 1986 that level remained at about $500 million. Strong growth in the economy through 1993 pulled total earnings, measured taking away the effect of inflation, to $811 million. This equaled a 61% increase in 8 years or an average annual growth rate of about 7.5%; phenomenal!
4. However, since completion of the Catalytic Cracker at the Hess oil refinery in October 1993, real wages have fallen to a low of $651 million in 1995 and appear to be only slowly recovering since then. The decline was severe and equals a real expenditure loss to our economy.
5. Since 1993, we have spun into recession and only now are we beginning to slowly pull out of it.
6. Jump starts to revive our economy will be achieved quickest through an increase in air arrivals. Their average expenditure has been estimated by the VI Bureau of Economic Research to equal more than $1,200 per visitor.
Richard W. Moore
Economic Research Service
340-774-4272

< /tr>

US VI Civilian Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment – By Island – CY & YTD

St.Thomas/St. John

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Labor

U

Force

Empl.

Unempl.

Rate

1978

21,305

20,195

1,110

5.2%

1979

22,451

21,364

1,087

4.8%

1980

23,278

22,033

1,246

5.4%

1981

23,278

22,131

1,148

4.9%

1982

23,188

21,902

1,286

5.5%

1983

23,278

21,781

1,497

6.4%

1984

23,113

22,114

999

4.3%

1985

23,777

22,904

873

3.7%

1986

24,252

23,572

680

2.8%

1987

25,118

24,602

530

2.1%

1988

25,742

25,286

456

1.8%

1989

25,679

24,933

671

2.6%

1990

27,256

26,769

487

1.8%

1991

27,663

27,137

527

1.9%

1992

28,18
2

27,500

682

2.4%

1993

28,624

27,909

715

2.5%

1994

28,778

28,056

723

2.5%

1995

27,836

26,593

1,243

4.5%

1996

27,086

25,593

1,493

5.5%

1997

27,022

25,595

1,402

5.2%

Year to Date – November

1995 YTD Nov.

20,107

18,567

1,542

7.7%

1996 YTD Nov.

18,640

17,930

890

4.8%

1997 YTD Nov.

19,050

17,780

1,270

6.7%

1998 YTD Nov.

19,350

17,880

1,470

7.6%

St. Croix

Labor

U

Force

Empl.

Unempl.

Rate

1978

18,312

16,880

1,432

7.8%

1979

19,178

17,950

1,228

6.4%

1980

19,861

18,508

1,353

6.8%

1981

20,375

18,693

1,682

8.3%

1982

20,568

18,423

2,146

10.4%

1983

20,689

18,584

2,105

10.1%

1984

20,567

18,268

2,298

11.2%

1985

19,808

18,060

1,748

8.8%

1986

19,740

18,340

1,400

7.1%

1987

19,839

19,013

826

4.2%

1988

20,843

19,772

1,071

5.1%

1989

20,473

19,347

1,022

5.0%

1990

21,003

20,163

839

4.0%

1991

21,293

20,439

853

4.0%

1992

21,758

20,713

1,045

4.8%

1993

24,905

23,742

1,163

4.7%

1994

21,611

19,497

2,114

9.8%

1995

19,976

18,479

1,498

7.5%

1996

18,676

17,948

893

4.8%

1997

19,063

17,788

1,276

6.7%

Year to Date – November

1995 YTD Nov.

27,855

26,721

1,135

4.1%

1996 YTD Nov.

27,060

25,540

1,520

5.6%

1997 YTD Nov.

27,010

25,590

1,400

5.2%

1998 YTD Nov.

27,350

25,730

1,530

5.6%

V.I.

Labor

U

Force

Empl.

Unempl.

Rate

1978

39,518

36,976

2,542

6.4%

1979

41,628

39,314

2,314

5.6%

1980

43,131

40,533

2,598

6.0%

1981

43,653

40,824

2,829

6.5%

1982

43,756

40,324

3,432

7.8%

1983

43,967

40,365

3,602

8.2%

1984

43,682

40,383

3,299

7.6%

1985

43,585

40,964

2,621

6.0%

1986

43,992

41,912

2,080

4.7%

1987

44,957

43,601

1,356

3.0%

1988

46,584

45,058

1,527

3.3%

1989

46,048

44,355

1,693

3.7%

1990

48,258

46,933

1,326

2.8%

1991

48,956

47,576

1,380

2.8%

1992

49,849

48,213

1,727

3.5%

1993

53,529

51,651

1,878

3.5%

1994

50,379

47,553

2,837

5.6%

1995

47,818

45,078

2,741

5.8%

1996

45,762

43,376

2,386

5.2%

1997

46,085

43,383

2,703

5.9%

Year to Date – November

1995 YTD Nov.

47,970

47,970

2,676

5.6%

1996 YTD Nov.

45,690

43,290

2,400

5.3%

1997 YTD Nov.

46,060

43,370

2,690

5.8%

1998 YTD Nov.

46,600

43,610

3,000

6.4%

Source: VI Bureau of Labor Statistics

Compiled by: Richard W. Moore

February 17, 1999

US Virgin Islands

Aggregate Real Wage Payments

Year

Total

1979

$499,798,013

1980

$510,062,281

1981

$522,542,936

1982

$503,644,484

1983

$522,273,365

1984

$521,587,982

1985

$502,579,079

1986

$519,009,428

1987

$577,964,154

1988

$588,478,299

1989

$644,009,147

1990

$680,997,383

1991

$711,000,000

1992

$728,295,782

1993

$811,261,647

1994

$675,171,555

1995

$651,790,470

1996

$657,204,975

1997

$671,000,000

Source: VI Bureau of Labor Statistics

Compiled and estimated by: Richard W. Moore

tel.

340-774-4272

February 17, 1999

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