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13-1071-DAL

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Las Cruces, May 2012


Workers in the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.79 in May 2012, about 15 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 17 of 22 major groups including legal; sales and related; and construction and extraction. Wages were measurably higher than their respective national averages in only one group, education, training, and library.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including education, training, and library; protective service; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; production; and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)


Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Las Cruces United States Las Cruces Percent
difference(1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $18.79 * -15

Management

4.9 4.5 * 52.20 37.65 * -28

Business and financial operations

4.9 3.7 * 33.44 25.07 * -25

Computer and mathematical

2.7 1.9 * 38.55 34.27 * -11

Architecture and engineering

1.8 3.1 * 37.98 35.61 * -6

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 1.0 * 32.87 31.68 -4

Community and social service

1.4 2.3 * 21.27 20.36 -4

Legal

0.8 0.4 * 47.39 27.20 * -43

Education, training, and library

6.4 9.2 * 24.62 27.64 * 12

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8 * 26.20 18.35 * -30

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 5.4 35.35 36.80 4

Healthcare support

3.0 3.5 13.36 12.35 * -8

Protective service

2.5 4.3 * 20.70 22.69 10

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 8.9 10.28 9.64 * -6

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.2 12.34 10.01 * -19

Personal care and service

2.9 4.8 * 11.80 9.78 * -17

Sales and related

10.6 9.1 * 18.26 12.45 * -32

Office and administrative support

16.4 16.1 16.54 13.00 * -21

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 2.1 * 11.65 9.23 * -21

Construction and extraction

3.8 4.8 * 21.61 15.27 * -29

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.2 * 21.09 17.94 * -15

Production

6.6 4.3 * 16.59 14.47 * -13

Transportation and material moving

6.7 3.3 * 16.15 12.11 * -25

* 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.
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Las Cruces is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.


One occupational group–architecture and engineering–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Las Cruces had 2,040 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 1.8-percent national share. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $35.61 compared to the national wage of $37.98.

With employment of 440, aerospace engineers was the largest occupation within the architecture and engineering group, followed by electronics engineers, except computer (280). Among the higher paying jobs were electronics engineers, except computer, and aerospace engineers, with mean hourly wages of $41.94 and $40.95, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were surveying and mapping technicians ($15.92) and civil engineering technicians ($19.59). (Detailed occupational data for architecture and engineering are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29740.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 Las Cruces metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, electronics engineers, except computer, were employed at 4.0 times the national rate in Las Cruces, and aerospace engineers, at 10.7 times the U.S. average. The Las Cruces aerospace engineer location quotient was the fourth highest among all metropolitan areas in the country. On the other hand, electrical engineers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Las Cruces, 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 New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc/.

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.



OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Las Cruces 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 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,002 establishments with a response rate of 85 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.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 Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Doña Ana County in New Mexico.


Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro6. 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/2012/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: 1-800-877-8339.


Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation,
Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
quotient(3)
Hourly Annual(4)

Architecture and engineering occupations

2,040 1.7 $35.61 $74,070

Aerospace engineers

440 10.7 40.95 85,170

Civil engineers

40 0.3 34.68 72,120

Computer hardware engineers

80 2.1 41.90 87,150

Electrical engineers

90 1.1 37.21 77,390

Electronics engineers, except computer

280 4.0 41.94 87,240

Industrial engineers

60 0.6 43.76 91,030

Mechanical engineers

60 0.5 36.39 75,690

Engineers, all other

240 3.8 42.27 87,930

Civil engineering technicians

60 1.8 19.59 40,750

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

240 3.3 28.16 58,580

Environmental engineering technicians

(5) (5) 26.04 54,160

Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other

100 3.1 28.10 58,450

Surveying and mapping technicians

40 1.6 15.92 33,120

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Las Cruces MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29740.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) Estimates not available.

Last Modified Date: June 4, 2013