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International business compensation tops $1b

The combined total of annual employee compensation in Bermuda’s international business sector topped $1 billion for the first time in 2011, according to figures compiled by Government.

The sector’s employment income last year totalled $1.025 billion, representing a 10.1 percent increase from 2010’s total of $932.2 million.

In total, Bermuda’s employment income totalled $3.137 billion, up 1.7 percent from the year before, despite hundreds of reported job losses.

The numbers show that the approximately 11 percent of the Island’s workforce with international business jobs earn almost a third of Bermuda’s total employment compensation.

The figures are based on data from the Office of the Tax Commissioner. A spokesman for the Department of Statistics said the figures represented all types of compensation, including bonuses and housing allowance.

What makes the international business double-digit increase all the more remarkable is that it follows a 9.4 percent increase in compensation for this sector in 2010 and comes despite a decrease in the number of employees working in international business in recent years.

Government figures showed that the number of international business workers fell 6.9 percent in 2009 and 3.2 percent in 2010.

The last reported number of international business employees was 4,287 in 2010, as reported by the Department of Statistics.

Another notable increase came in the hotels and restaurants sector, which produced 20.2 percent more employment income year over year, rising to $71.6 million in 2011, up from $59.6 million a year earlier.

The fourth quarter saw hospitality workers earn $24.8 million, up 56 percent from the same period a year earlier and the highest quarterly compensation earned in this sector for three years.

The banking, insurance and real estate sector generated employment income of $338.2 million, up 1.8 percent from 2010, while business services experienced a 0.4 percent fall to $308.6 million.

On the downside, the construction industry suffered the biggest fall among the sectors, with a 22 percent drop in employment income to $122.2 million. This marked a third successive year of contraction in this sector, following a 5.7 percent decrease in 2009 and a 13.9 percent fall in 2010.

At its peak, construction employment income was $193.2 million in 2008, a time when several major office buildings were being erected. That figure had declined by $71 million, or more than a third, by 2011.

Public administration and defence employment income fell for a second successive year, falling two percent to $432 million, following a 0.5 percent fall in 2010.

The wholesale and retail sector recorded a third consecutive year of declining compensation. A fall of 3.9 percent in 2011 saw the sector’s workers earn $204.3 million.

Economic engine: International business workers earned about a third of Bermuda's total employment income in 2011

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Published April 05, 2012 at 9:23 am (Updated April 05, 2012 at 9:23 am)

International business compensation tops $1b

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