San Juan is the least expensive place to do business in the U.S.

San Juan Employee supplementing incomeOften times there are are least two sides to any story. I've always been one who becomes caught in the middle of all of these sides when I can see that the opposing views have some validity. This is one of those situations. Recently, it was announced that San Juan was determined to be the least expensive place to do business in the United States, this according to a study released recently by KPMG LLP.

The report, which is entitled Competitive Alternatives Results, KPMG's Guide to International Business Location, measures the combined impact of 27 significant business cost components that are most likely to vary by location. The study also compares data on a variety of non-cost competiveness factors.

So you're saying that's awesome! Right? What better news for Puerto Rico, since we are always trying to attract new businesses to Puerto Rico. Sure, that's great news. And I certainly hope that it helps to bring more business to the island. So what could be wrong with this picture? Let's dig in to the results to find the clues.

More than anything, the one factor which makes San Juan the cheapest place to do business is that we have the lowest salaries and wages of any of the cities included in the report. Which sucks, big time, especially if you're a line level employee. San Juan's rating was also helped by it also offering the lowest rates to lease a facility. However, after that San Juan had the most expensive costs for nearly every other category. Specifically, San Juan has the highest costs for transportation, utilities, and nearly the highest for the initial investment for land and buildings. So what we are saying here is that the salaries are so low in San Juan that it makes up for it being the most expensive in everything else.

But let's take this just one step further. What does this mean for the common staff employee? So not only do they receive the lowest wages, but they also have to pay the highest utility costs. Because what is expensive for businesses is also expensive for the people that live in that city, right? Well, I guess that's the other side of the coin on this one.

While it might be great for businesses in San Juan, this news masks the unfortunate fact that our salaries are lower, by a significant factor, than any place in the Unites States. Well, that is unless you happen to be within the ranks of management, where the difference is negligent. And if you happen to be amongst the executive ranks, you might even find that the salaries here in San Juan, might actually be higher than some of your counterparts in the U.S., but that's another story. Funny, how you never see this headline in the local news: "Puerto Rican executives have equal salaries as the U.S., while employees have significantly lower." Yeah, I bet that one doesn't sell too many papers.

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor Today: dskciado