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Census: AmSam has fewest businesses in insular areas

Data released last month by the U.S. Census Bureau points to American Samoa having the smallest number of businesses compared to other Insular Areas, such as Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

It states that American Samoa reported a total of 466 “establishments” or businesses in 2010 with a total annual payroll of $102.5 million.

Findings on the territories and all the states are outlined in the bureau’s “County Business Patterns: 2010” report released June 26. Of the 466 establishments in American Samoa, there were 6,856 “paid employees” - as of Mar. 12, 2010, the report states.

In 2009, total establishments stood at 458 with 9,991 paid employees — as of Mar. 12, 2009 — with annual payroll of $120.2 million. For 2008, total establishments numbered 445 with 9,232 paid employees, as of Mar. 12, 2008, and an annual payroll of $119.6 million.

According to the Census 2010 report, manufacturing has the highest payroll at $29.4 million for 39 establishments, employing between 1,000 to 2,499 workers.

 The highest number of employees are in the retail trade with 1,268 workers covering 146 establishments with an annual payroll of $17.3 million.

Data further states that accommodation and food services employed 529 workers with a payroll of $5.9 million covering 40 establishments. Following close behind is the construction industry with 345 employees and a payroll of $5.1 million covering 23 establishments.

Ranking in the top five industries is transportation and warehousing, employing 313 people, with an annual payroll of $4.6 million covering 33 establishments.

In the category of “agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting”, the Census data shows only two establishments were covered but didn’t provide the total number of paid employees or annual payroll. A footnote explanation states that total annual payroll is “withheld to avoid disclosing data for individual companies; data included in higher level totals.”

An identical footnote explanation is also noted in the categories of “professional, scientific, and technical services” covering 21 establishments and “management of companies and enterprises” covering three establishments.

For the other territories, Guam reported 3,320 establishments with an annual payroll of $1.2 billion; CNMI reported 1,182 establishments with an annual payroll of $148.6 million; the U.S. Virgin Islands reported 2,772 establishments with an annual payroll of $1.1 billion; and Puerto Rico reported 44,693 establishments and an annual payroll of $16.2 billion, according to the Census Bureau.

Overall in 2010, the Census Bureau says U.S. businesses with paid employees numbered 7.4 million, a decline of 36,800 establishments from 2009, marking the third consecutive year of decline.

Specific data on the 2010 County Business Patterns is on line: