HAGÅTÑA, Guam—Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero announced yesterday that the new H-2B prevailing wage rates for common construction occupations were recently approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services through a biennial process using Guam data gathered from the U.S. Department of Labor OES Survey. These rates will not change again until December 2021.
The new rates only affect new applications filed with the Guam Department of Labor on or after Dec. 13, 2019. Rates for current approvals remain at the old rates until the valid labor certification expires.
“We continue to face a labor shortage even as the demand for construction projects continues to rise. I am pleased that the prevailing wage rates were approved for common construction jobs,” said the governor. “We have placed more than 1,000 people in skilled apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs since the start of this administration because we know that skilled labor is a passport to economic success for Guam’s working families.”
The three most common H-2B occupations for which H-2B workers are imported saw modest increases in the wage rates. Carpenters and Reinforcing Metalworkers saw about a 6% increase and Cement Mason rates were increased by about 4.5%. Under the new rates, Welders, Electricians, HVAC Mechanics and Construction Equipment Mechanics all command wages in excess of $18 per hour when working alongside H-2B guest workers.
Similarly, U.S. workers employed in the same companies and occupations as H-2B workers will see pay increases as new or extended workers get certified under the new rates later next year.
The new rates are published on GDOL’s website at dol.guam.gov. (PR)