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14-1038-ATL

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Columbia, May 2013

Workers in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.41 in May 2013, 13 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, 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 significantly lower than their respective national averages in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction, business and financial operations, and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, protective service, and healthcare practitioners and technical. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including construction and extraction, food preparation and serving related, and transportation and material moving. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

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 63,320 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 18.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.67, measurably below the national wage of $16.78.

With employment of 11,290, customer service representatives was among the largest occupations within the office and administrative support group, followed by secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (7,310) and general office clerks (6,960). 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 $23.00 and $22.14, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($8.81) and stock clerks and order fillers ($10.75). (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/2013/may/oes_17900.htm.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
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% $22.33 $19.41* -13

Management

4.9 4.6* 53.15 45.13* -15

Business and financial operations

5.0 5.0 34.14 27.24* -20

Computer and mathematical

2.8 2.6* 39.43 31.45* -20

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.7 38.51 34.38* -11

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 33.37 26.75* -20

Community and social services

1.4 1.6* 21.50 18.99* -12

Legal

0.8 1.1* 47.89 32.79* -32

Education, training, and library

6.3 6.1* 24.76 23.63 -5

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.9* 26.72 19.66* -26

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 6.5* 35.93 30.53* -15

Healthcare support

3.0 2.9 13.61 12.29* -10

Protective service

2.5 3.3* 20.92 16.10* -23

Food preparation and serving related

9.0 8.3* 10.38 9.21* -11

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.9* 12.51 11.04* -12

Personal care and service

3.0 2.3* 11.88 10.87* -9

Sales and related

10.6 10.6 18.37 15.38* -16

Office and administrative support

16.2 18.3* 16.78 15.67* -7

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.3* 11.70 13.28* 14

Construction and extraction

3.8 2.9* 21.94 17.42* -21

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.3* 21.35 20.04* -6

Production

6.6 7.0 16.79 15.63* -7

Transportation and material moving

6.8 6.3* 16.28 14.77* -9

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.

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, insurance claims and policy processing clerks were employed at 2.5 times the national rate in Columbia, and procurement clerks, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bookeeping, 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.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

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 for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,749 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 2013 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/ro4. 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/2013/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.

OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

63,3201.1$15.67$32,590

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

5,8001.623.0047,840

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

3301.113.4828,040

Bill and Account Collectors

1,2401.314.3429,820

Billing and Posting Clerks

1,4701.115.1031,410

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

3,6800.916.8735,100

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

3800.918.7138,910

Procurement Clerks

4002.218.1437,730

Tellers

8800.612.2325,440

Financial Clerks, All Other

300.322.8147,440

Brokerage Clerks

900.619.2139,960

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks

2200.716.7134,750

Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks

900.716.8635,070

Customer Service Representatives

11,2901.814.6030,380

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

900.317.8637,150

File Clerks

3000.712.5626,130

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

6101.08.8118,320

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

3900.813.8028,710

Library Assistants, Clerical

3101.211.9624,880

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

3300.615.9233,120

New Accounts Clerks

1000.715.6932,630

Order Clerks

2600.515.6932,630

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

5201.517.0835,530

Receptionists and Information Clerks

2,4601.012.5626,120

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

3400.719.6240,810

Cargo and Freight Agents

700.318.8739,250

Couriers and Messengers

3201.710.8022,470

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

2000.814.7730,710

Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance

4200.920.5242,680

Meter Readers, Utilities

1201.217.6436,690

Postal Service Clerks

1100.624.2950,520

Postal Service Mail Carriers

7100.923.7849,470

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

4101.322.5646,930

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

1,6202.221.6845,090

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

1,8101.013.3827,830

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

3,8200.810.7522,360

Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping

1701.012.5126,020

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

1,4800.822.1446,060

Legal Secretaries

7701.317.2635,900

Medical Secretaries

1,2000.914.9331,050

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

7,3101.315.2231,660

Computer Operators

1400.815.8432,950

Data Entry Keyers

9601.813.2127,470

Word Processors and Typists

400.217.5436,490

Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks

1,5402.515.7832,820

Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service

4101.613.5428,170

Office Clerks, General

6,9600.912.9927,020

Statistical Assistants

1303.216.4834,280

Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other

1500.315.9633,190

(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.

 

Last Modified Date: June 10, 2014