Wage survey reveals equality gaps

| 25/06/2019 | 37 Comments
Cayman News Service

(CNS): Almost 65% of the Cayman Islands’ workforce earned less than the average salary in 2017 and early 2018, according to a newly released pay survey by the Economics and Statistics Office. The first-ever occupational wage survey in the Cayman Islands has revealed a number of discrepancies in various different groups and some significant equality gaps. While two years ago the average monthly earnings was $3,979 for wages plus overtime, the median was just $3,311.

Caymanians were averaging $4,208 per month, while non-Caymanians averaged just $3,707, and the gender pay gap was around CI$1,000 per annum. The earnings of professionals working in the legal and financial sectors, who had average annual salaries of around $90,000, contrasted sharply with unskilled workers at the bottom of the economic pile, who in some cases were barely earning $10,000 per year.

The survey was conducted across all types of businesses from October 2017 to February 2018, and among a sample of households with employees from November 2017 to April 2018. There were 1,270 respondents who supplied data on the 19,215 employees, according to ESO officials.

Finance Minister Roy McTaggart said it was a historic survey. “Designed to an internationally comparable standard, the report brings together, for the first time, information about the local labour market that will help inform government policy and future legislation across a number of areas,” he said.

“The Ministry of Finance is committed to working with employers, employees, human resources professionals and other stakeholders, across all sectors, to ensure that we all have access to the information that we need to make decisions that will ensure the Cayman Islands remains a competitive labour market, that attracts and retains the best talent from around the world,” he added.

The ESO said the survey would help develop an islands-wide baseline database of employment and compensation in public and private sectors for all occupations.

The report, which records 282 occupational classifications, is intended to document the structure of employment and occupation by nationality and status in the various industries. The disparity between the type of professions where workers were generously compensated compared to those on minimum wage or less was not surprising. Lawyers were at the top of the pile, and alongside domestic helpers and beauticians, Cayman’s musicians were among the lowest paid professions.

While the survey demonstrated that the average salary in Cayman does not seem low, in reality more than a quarter of the workers surveyed were on extremely low wages, given the cost of living in the Cayman Islands, revealing some serious gaps in equality. The number of workers earning less than $22,824 annually was 4,615, while 1,847 (nearly 10%) were found to be earning just $12,516 annually.

The survey also revealed that government workers in statutory authorities and government companies (SAGCs) earn more on average then both civil servants working in core government and private sector employees. The average monthly basic earnings of employees of SAGCs was $4,383, while those in core government were paid $4,035 and the private sector just $3,978.

See the snapshot and full report on the ESO website

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Category: Jobs, Local News

Comments (37)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    More “woke” studies and articles from woke leftist.

    Predetermined systemic wage gaps are myths and utter bullshit. Deception designed to reap division to empower the morally superior leftists that continually propagate victimhood so they can push for higher minimum wages and other forms of bullshit equality provisions.

    Are there patterns of differences in wages? OF COURSE! Just like doctors are generally paid more than school teachers, and electricians, and yes, you also have natural wage gaps between nationalities, genders, etc. This is true!

    These “wage gaps” however exists from natural trends in free markets, NOT because some financial macro controller decides who will be paid what! This notion is utter psychobabble.

    Women for example generally have different interests then men in their work. Yes, like it or not, that is a fact. Because of this fact, trends in occupation will create trends in pay wages.

    Let’s go deeper with gender for example. Should a woman lawyer practicing the same law make the same as a man? Absolutely. Does that means it’s going to (or should) happen? Not necessarily. Women are more _likely_ to accept less for the same position “in general”. Why?? Because women “in general” tends to be less aggressive than a man when interviewing or accepting deals. Having said, that, the same CAN occur the other way around that some women are more aggressive then men. BUT IT’S LESS LIKELY!

    The same applies to nationalities depending on where they come from, and the industry the excel in. Lawyers and doctors coming from the states are generally going to make high wages because of the environment they come from, and labor oriented expats will make less. that happens because we have a FREE market and the MARKET determines who is paid what. Not by some racist, nationalist, misogynistic, xenophobic bogeyman in some expensive office building.

    Stop buying the leftist bullshit.

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    • Anonymous says:

      9:35, Spoken by a true Donald J. Trump supporter. Obviously not a racist, nationalist, misogynistic, xenophobic bogeyman in some expensive office building known as Trump Tower. LOL

      Wake up 9:35 and realize that basic morality is not a leftist or rightist concept.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Oh god, you really are the delusional kind.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Slavery is alive and well in the Cayman Islands

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  3. Anonymous says:

    I was in the process of contracting the services of a local business when I was told by one of the managers that there would be a delay in providing the requested services because only the male employees of the business could be used to provide the services. The explanation that was given was that the business only allowed their male employees to provide the services that they deemed to have the potential to expose an employee to any risk of personal injury.

    When I spoke with the guys that eventually showed up about their wages as compared to their female colleagues (that were performing similar duties) they indicated that their wages were about the same or in some instances lower than their female counterparts.

    There is clearly a gender pay gap, but it is not what most people think it is.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    The time has come for a raising in the minimum wage which currently is a disgrace. Nobody can live on this wage decently.

    People should be paid a basic liveable wage on the islands.

    It is the Christian thing to do if we really are Christians here.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Minimum wage and a living wage are 2 very different things

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    • Anonymous says:

      Or maybe the time has come for the shopkeepers to lower thier prices rather than assume we all live on accountants wages. Because we don’t.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not your employers responsibility to pay your bills. It is your own responsibility. Find a way to get a better paying job or get a second job. Just like people did in the old days before people became entitled. Low paying jobs aren’t for long term careers. These jobs are just stepping stones while you move up in life. If you have worked the exact same job since you were 18 and you are now 40 then it is your own fault that you have no ambition to do better.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    The Benefits Racket Abuses
    . When our annual insurance benefits are equal to 1 month of our premiums!
    When we have to repay our travel and permit costs.
    When they pay workers with degrees less than a high school grad would expect.
    When they deduct costs of losses and accidents from.our wages.
    When we work holidays and overtime for same set pay.
    Etc

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    • Anonymous says:

      Find a better job and employer and report your employer to the labour board. It’s not that difficult. It is your own fault if you stay in a job where you are being taken advantage.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Government agencies might be making huge salaries but core government still pay the pits. If you doubt it go run a survey.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Note that part-timers are lumped in with full time. This is likely to affect some of the jobs at the bottom the most. Who knows how many choose to be part time. It is a question that should have been asked. All in all this contradicts some cherished beliefs about discrimination.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    everyone is not equal.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    One question not seemingly asked is where is the poverty line and how many people live below it? Apologies if I missed it, that would seem to be core to me.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You’d need to know how many in the household and total wages they earn. Employers don’t have that info. My guess is 4,000 live in third world poverty.

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    • Anonymous says:

      It is double minimum wage, so every time immigration grants a permit to someone earning $6.00 an hour they are actively importing poverty.

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      • Anonymous says:

        25/6- 4:29. Immigration rarely issue permits for $6.00/hr. Most employers put a higher wage and claim they will provide accommodation. When the employee arrives they are told go find someone to share a room with they are more than likely to be paid $6.00 or less, the cost of the work permit and travel expenses are deducted from their wages. Everyone knows this. the employee because of the poverty back at home keep their mouth shut and work 50 + hours each week for the same hourly wage so they can feed the family back home and yes build a home and educate their children. Hence one of the major problems for Caymanians to grow and prosper in our own country. Enforce the immigration laws, it’s the law enforce them and when the employer have no work for the employee they must return home instead of being allowed to remain on island and working illegally with their employer well aware of this and even renewing their permit knowing full well they only have a few days work for them each month. Also stop the extensions for people who claim to be visitors as every one is aware of that racket.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Poverty line doesn’t matter if the people earning below this imaginary line do not abide by the same circumstances as true locals or residents that are not leaving the island or sending every penny away and building mansions in their home country for their retirement.

      They are just making temporary sacrifices to live large when they return home. Caymanians used to do this once upon a time. While others saved or got a second job which went straight to savings or to quickly pay off their loans.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, the majority of unskilled workers do send their money home. It supports their families, and pays school fees back home. The CI$ goes a very long way where they come from. They sacrifice family life and everything coming here in the hope of securing a better future for their families.

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        • Anonymous says:

          And they’re rewarded for that sacrifice, unlike Caymanians who make the sacrifice of staying here hoping it becomes friendly and affordable again.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Exactly what the poster is saying above. It’s why the poverty line doesn’t matter. Those living below it aren’t living within the same parameters ultimately.

          However for the Caymanians that are living below the imaginary poverty line need to upgrade skills, get a second job or open a business online or otherwise. Just stop the complaining. My father was a seaman and didn’t make money while in Cayman. So he did what he could to make money – go to sea. When that was done and he returned home. He took any job possible. Worked two to three as necessary. Why is that no longer considered reasonable now? Why is it considered impractical now because people will be tired? Because people find it difficult? Because you don’t want to?

          Everyone makes choices for their lives and their future. People that work hard and make sacrifices make it further along in life than the ones that want the easy way out.

      • Anon says:

        6.52pm It’s amazing how many of your ilk resent these poor hard working folk scrimping to send a few dollars home to support their impoverished families. As for mansions – in your dreams (unless you have borrowed from the CI Dev Bank) and not paid your mortgage. Really, Caymanians holding a second job?, that only applies to full time Civil Servants running their own businesses yet stillbeing paid by the taxpayer,.

  10. Anonymous says:

    room for sampling error…many factors affect sampling???

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I know for a fact I wore more hats at my job than my male counterparts but I made 2k less. These people also say that they are feminists. Sure,

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  12. Poor Man says:

    It’s pretty obvious what’s contributing to the higher Caymanian salaries- the Civil Service and all our Government agencies. I still can’t get over the obscene average salaries paid to the almost 100% Caymanian workforce at the CIAA as revealed by the Auditor General.

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