POSTED: 7:31 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2011
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> A report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office says employment in American Samoa and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has suffered because of minimum wage increases that began in 2007.
The 142-page report released Thursday says the decrease in employment was a result of losing a tuna cannery in American Samoa and the departure of the garment industry from the U.S. commonwealth.
In the report, American Samoa employers say layoffs, work hour reductions and hiring freezes were due to the minimum wage increase.
American Samoa's minimum wage is to equal the U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 in 2018, while the commonwealth is to reach that wage in 2016.
Since 2007, the minimum wage increased three times in American Samoa and four times in the commonwealth.