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15-1107-ATL
Friday, June 19, 2015

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Columbia – May 2014

Workers in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.72 in May 2014, about 13 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 1 of the 22 major occupational groups. Twenty groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical; construction and extraction; and management.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support; healthcare practitioners and technical; and legal. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including personal care and service; food preparation and serving related; and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Columbia United States Columbia Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.71 $19.72* -13

Management

5.0 4.6* 54.08 46.32* -14

Business and financial operations

5.1 5.0 34.81 27.67* -21

Computer and mathematical

2.8 2.7 40.37 31.63* -22

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6* 39.19 33.16* -15

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 33.69 27.94* -17

Community and social services

1.4 1.4 21.79 19.52* -10

Legal

0.8 1.2* 48.61 32.82* -32

Education, training, and library

6.2 6.1 25.10 22.31* -11

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.9* 26.82 21.02* -22

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 6.6* 36.54 30.78* -16

Healthcare support

2.9 3.0 13.86 12.82* -8

Protective service

2.4 2.9* 21.14 16.89* -20

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 8.3* 10.57 9.32* -12

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.0* 12.68 10.92* -14

Personal care and service

3.1 2.2* 12.01 11.01* -8

Sales and related

10.5 10.7 18.59 15.58* -16

Office and administrative support

16.0 17.8* 17.08 16.02* -6

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 12.09 13.59* 12

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.5* 22.40 18.39* -18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.2* 21.74 20.15* -7

Production

6.6 7.0 17.06 16.88 -1

Transportation and material moving

6.8 6.6 16.57 15.42* -7

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Columbia is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The percent share of employment or mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.
 

One occupational group—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Columbia had 63,240 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 17.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.02, significantly below the national wage of $17.08.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included customer service representatives (10,280), secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (7,450), and general office clerks (6,600). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $23.37 and $22.58, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($9.04) and stock clerks and order fillers ($10.58). (Detailed occupational data for office and administrative support are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2014/may/oes_17900.htm.)

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, procurement clerks were employed at 2.3 times the national rate in Columbia, and insurance claims and policy processing clerks, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks had a location quotient of 0.9 in Columbia, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

Note

A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.


Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,754 establishments with a response rate of 70 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, respectively.

The May 2014 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

Area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Columbia, S.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lexington, Richland, and Saluda Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southeast. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/2014/may/methods_statement.pdf.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

63,240 1.1 $16.02 $33,320

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

6,130 1.7 23.37 48,610

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

340 1.2 13.43 27,930

Bill and Account Collectors

1,390 1.5 14.64 30,460

Billing and Posting Clerks

1,420 1.1 15.49 32,210

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

3,630 0.9 16.80 34,950

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

350 0.8 19.36 40,270

Procurement Clerks

430 2.3 18.39 38,250

Tellers

960 0.7 12.49 25,970

Brokerage Clerks

140 1.0 20.57 42,780

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks

290 0.9 17.98 37,400

Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks

90 0.7 17.82 37,060

Customer Service Representatives

10,280 1.6 15.47 32,190

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

60 0.2 19.92 41,430

File Clerks

330 0.8 12.21 25,390

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

710 1.1 9.04 18,800

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

570 1.1 13.57 28,230

Library Assistants, Clerical

290 1.1 11.82 24,590

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

320 0.6 16.96 35,270

New Accounts Clerks

90 0.7 16.18 33,660

Order Clerks

220 0.5 16.46 34,230

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

470 1.3 17.19 35,750

Receptionists and Information Clerks

2,480 1.0 12.73 26,470

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

370 0.8 19.16 39,840

Cargo and Freight Agents

60 0.3 22.28 46,340

Couriers and Messengers

270 1.4 11.01 22,900

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

210 0.8 14.75 30,680

Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance

330 0.7 20.62 42,900

Meter Readers, Utilities

100 1.1 17.59 36,590

Postal Service Clerks

110 0.6 25.06 52,130

Postal Service Mail Carriers

710 0.9 24.29 50,520

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

410 1.3 22.89 47,610

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

(5) (5) 23.05 47,950

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

1,530 0.9 14.37 29,900

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

4,150 0.8 10.58 22,000

Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping

350 1.9 10.09 20,990

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

1,400 0.7 22.58 46,970

Legal Secretaries

790 1.4 16.56 34,450

Medical Secretaries

1,230 0.9 14.66 30,490

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

7,450 1.3 15.10 31,410

Computer Operators

100 0.6 17.20 35,780

Data Entry Keyers

810 1.5 12.99 27,020

Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks

1,490 2.2 16.11 33,510

Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service

400 1.5 13.74 28,570

Office Clerks, General

6,600 0.9 13.00 27,050

Office Machine Operators, Except Computer

690 3.9 (5) (5)

Statistical Assistants

110 2.8 (5) (5)

Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other

150 0.2 19.84 41,270

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Columbia, SC, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_17900.htm.
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a ‘year-round, full-time’ hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, June 19, 2015