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Tuesday, June 09, 2015


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin – May 2014

Workers in the Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.13 in May 2014, about 7 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. Seventeen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical; management; and legal.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving; management; and office and administrative support. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; construction and extraction; and personal care and service. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.71 $21.13* -7


5.0 6.4* 54.08 47.21* -13

Business and financial operations

5.1 5.0 34.81 31.39* -10

Computer and mathematical

2.8 2.5* 40.37 34.06* -16

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.5* 39.19 34.01* -13

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 33.69 28.46* -16

Community and social services

1.4 1.0* 21.79 19.59* -10


0.8 0.7* 48.61 43.04* -11

Education, training, and library

6.2 4.8* 25.10 21.74* -13

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.6* 26.82 27.81 4

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 6.4* 36.54 32.19* -12

Healthcare support

2.9 2.6* 13.86 13.18* -5

Protective service

2.4 2.1* 21.14 17.93* -15

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 8.9 10.57 9.90* -6

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.7* 12.68 11.43* -10

Personal care and service

3.1 2.4* 12.01 11.82 -2

Sales and related

10.5 10.3 18.59 18.01 -3

Office and administrative support

16.0 17.4* 17.08 16.82* -2

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.09 14.04* 16

Construction and extraction

3.9 2.9* 22.40 19.23* -14

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.1 21.74 20.76* -5


6.6 7.7* 17.06 16.68 -2

Transportation and material moving

6.8 8.4* 16.57 15.64* -6

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Nashville 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—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin had 69,140 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.64, significantly below the national wage of $16.57.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included laborers and freight, stock, and hand material movers (23,100), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (13,770), and hand packers and packagers (5,600). Among the higher paying jobs were air traffic controllers, and inspectors, with mean hourly wages of $56.93 and $37.03, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were transportation attendants, except flight attendants ($8.48) and parking lot attendants ($9.91). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

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 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand were employed at 1.8 times the national rate in Nashville, and hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, at 1.6 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators had a location quotient of 1.1 in Nashville, 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 Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.


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 Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,793 establishments with a response rate of 67 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 and, 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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Nashville-DavidsonMurfreesboroFranklin, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at

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, Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

69,140 1.2 $15.64 $32,520

Aircraft Cargo Handling Supervisors

40 1.1 24.35 50,640

First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand

1,900 1.8 22.27 46,330

First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators

1,350 1.1 26.72 55,580

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

70 0.2 (5) 96,430

Commercial Pilots

110 0.5 (5) 60,890

Air Traffic Controllers

70 0.5 56.93 118,420

Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity

1,180 1.2 16.03 33,340

Bus Drivers, School or Special Client

2,290 0.8 14.62 30,410

Driver/Sales Workers

1,720 0.7 18.53 38,550

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

13,770 1.4 19.95 41,500

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

(5) (5) 15.94 33,160

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

690 0.6 16.22 33,750

Motor Vehicle Operators, All Other

760 2.2 14.02 29,170

Sailors and Marine Oilers

(5) (5) 20.22 42,060

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

(5) (5) 45.72 95,100

Parking Lot Attendants

1,250 1.5 9.91 20,610

Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants

680 1.1 10.20 21,220

Traffic Technicians

290 7.4 26.78 55,700

Transportation Inspectors

120 0.8 37.03 77,010

Transportation Attendants, Except Flight Attendants

130 1.3 8.48 17,630

Transportation Workers, All Other

(5) (5) 13.49 28,060

Conveyor Operators and Tenders

410 1.8 15.70 32,650

Crane and Tower Operators

160 0.6 20.67 43,000

Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

280 1.0 17.20 35,770

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

4,050 1.3 15.09 31,390

Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment

1,500 0.8 11.28 23,470

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

23,100 1.6 12.37 25,730

Machine Feeders and Offbearers

500 0.8 11.70 24,340

Packers and Packagers, Hand

5,600 1.3 10.64 22,140

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

650 0.9 12.14 25,250

Material Moving Workers, All Other

70 0.5 12.39 25,770

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN, see
(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: Tuesday, June 09, 2015