News Release Information


Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Occupational Employment and Wages in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, May 2011

Workers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.23 in May 2011, about 7 percent below the nationwide average of $21.74, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, of the 22 major occupational groups, no wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national average. Fifteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including construction and extraction; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and business and financial operations.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, sales and related, and business and financial operations. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, transportation and material moving, and management. (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. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater had 209,830 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 19.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.7-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.31, measurably below the national wage of $16.40.

With employment of 31,340, customer service representatives was the largest occupation within the office and administrative support group, followed by secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (21,130) and general office clerks (20,170). Among the higher paying jobs were postal service mail carriers and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $24.78 and $20.29, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were stock clerks and order fillers ($11.60) and receptionist and information clerks ($12.52). (Detailed occupational data for office and administrative support are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2011
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Tampa United States Tampa Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $21.74 $20.23* -7


4.8 3.5* 51.64 52.44 2

Business and financial operations

4.8 6.2* 33.05 28.98* -12

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.7 37.85 34.01* -10

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.4* 37.08 31.46* -15

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6* 32.44 28.70* -12

Community and social services

1.5 1.2* 21.07 19.62* -7


0.8 1.1* 47.30 40.91* -14

Education, training, and library

6.6 5.6* 24.46 24.18 -1

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.1* 25.89 21.39* -17

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 6.8* 34.97 34.29 -2

Healthcare support

3.1 3.2 13.16 12.97 -1

Protective service

2.5 2.3* 20.54 19.09 -7

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.3* 10.30 10.00* -3

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.4 12.29 10.68* -13

Personal care and service

2.8 2.5* 11.84 11.75 -1

Sales and related

10.6 12.5* 18.04 18.05 0

Office and administrative support

16.7 19.1* 16.40 15.31* -7

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 11.68 9.16* -22

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.4* 21.46 17.23* -20

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.8 20.86 18.73* -10


6.5 4.4* 16.45 14.91* -9

Transportation and material moving

6.7 5.4* 15.96 14.70* -8

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Tampa 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 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, bill and account collectors were employed at 2.2 times the national rate in Tampa, and customer service representatives, at 1.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants had a location quotient of 1.0 in Tampa, 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 Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and nearly 800 non-military detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Tampa 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 also are surveyed, but their data are not included in this release. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 establishments in May and November of each year for a 3-year period. The nationwide response rate for the May 2011 survey was 77.3 percent based on establishments and 73.3 percent based on employment. May 2011 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, November 2009, May 2009, and November 2008. The sample in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area included 5,447 establishments with a response rate of 76 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2011 OES estimates mark the first set of estimates based in part on data collected using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Nearly all the occupations in this release are 2010 SOC occupations; however, some are not. The May 2012 OES data will reflect the full set of detailed occupations in the 2010 SOC. For a list of all occupations, including 2010 SOC occupations, and how data collected on two structures were combined, see the OES Frequently Asked Questions online at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

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 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2011
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations


First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers


Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service


Telephone Operators


Communications Equipment Operators, All Other


Bill and Account Collectors


Billing and Posting Clerks


Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks


Gaming Cage Workers


Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks


Procurement Clerks




Brokerage Clerks


Correspondence Clerks


Court, Municipal, and License Clerks


Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks


Customer Service Representatives


Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs


File Clerks


Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks


Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan


Library Assistants, Clerical


Loan Interviewers and Clerks


New Accounts Clerks


Order Clerks


Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping


Receptionists and Information Clerks


Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks


Information and Record Clerks, All Other


Cargo and Freight Agents


Couriers and Messengers


Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers


Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance


Meter Readers, Utilities


Postal Service Clerks


Postal Service Mail Carriers


Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators


Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks


Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks


Stock Clerks and Order Fillers


Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping


Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants


Legal Secretaries


Medical Secretaries


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


Computer Operators


Data Entry Keyers


Word Processors and Typists


Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks


Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service


Office Clerks, General


Office Machine Operators, Except Computer


Proofreaders and Copy Markers


Statistical Assistants


Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Tampa-St.Petersburg-Clearwater, 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: July 11, 2012