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News Release

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.


Employment Standards Administration

ESA Press Release: Minimum Wage Rates Increased For American Samoa [10/17/1997]

For more information call: (202) 2l9-8743

Mandatory minimum wage rates for American Samoa will increase, the U.S. Labor Department announced today.

A special six-member industry committee appointed by Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman met in Pago Pago, American Samoa, in June. The committee, composed of two members each representing the public, employers and employees, reviewed the economic conditions in American Samoa and heard public testimony before it made its binding recommendations.

Minimum wage rates for several of the covered private-sector industries in the territory will increase by a range of 5 to 10 cents per hour effective October 27, 1997, and by another 7 to 15 cents a year later. The wage rates for all government employees will increase to $2.57 per hour effective Oct. 1, 1998. There is no increase scheduled in the miscellaneous activities category.

In tuna canning, the chief Samoan industry, the required minimum wage rates will rise to $3.17 per hour effective October 27, 1998, an increase of 7 cents per hour. A new garment manufacturing industry classification was set at $2.45 and will increase after one year to $2.55.

The printing and publishing industry was split into two separate classifications--printing, which was defined to exclude printing by an employer who publishes newspapers, magazines and similar publications; and publishing. The rate for the printing industry will increase to $3.25 an hour effective October 27, 1997, and $3.35 an hour one year later. The rate for publishing will increase to $3.30 an hour effective October 27, 1997, and to $3.45 an hour one year later.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides that minimum wage rates in American Samoa may be established by special industry committees at rates below that required on the mainland. The industry committee meets biennially to recommend an alternative to the automatic application of the mainland minimum wage rate, and to gradually increase rates to the mainland level without adverse effect on the Samoan economy or on job opportunities. The current mainland minimum wage rate under the FLSA is $5.15 an hour effective September 1, 1997.

The special industry committee procedure under the federal FLSA is administered by the Wage and Hour Division of the Labor Department's Employment Standards Administration. Notice of the new American Samoa wage rates was published in the Federal Register on October 10, 1997, (62 FR 52944).

Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.

Employment Standards Administration
October 17, 1997
Media Contact: David Roberts
Phone Number