News Release Information

13-883-DAL

Thursday, May 9, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Oklahoma City
May 2012


Workers in the Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.98 in May 2012, about 9 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 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management, computer and mathematical, and legal.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction, office and administrative support, and management. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, personal care and service, and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)


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

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $19.98 * -9

Management

4.9 5.9 * 52.20 42.91 * -18

Business and financial operations

4.9 4.7 * 33.44 29.01 * -13

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.0 * 38.55 29.99 * -22

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.1 37.98 41.99 11

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.9 32.87 36.09 10

Community and social service

1.4 1.4 21.27 18.15 * -15

Legal

0.8 1.1 * 47.39 36.11 * -24

Education, training, and library

6.4 6.0 24.62 21.77 * -12

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.9 * 26.20 19.83 * -24

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.4 35.35 30.60 * -13

Healthcare support

3.0 2.9 13.36 12.09 * -10

Protective service

2.5 2.1 * 20.70 18.11 * -13

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 9.2 * 10.28 9.30 * -10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 2.8 * 12.34 10.77 * -13

Personal care and service

2.9 2.1 * 11.80 10.56 * -11

Sales and related

10.6 10.5 18.26 16.43 * -10

Office and administrative support

16.4 17.7 * 16.54 15.13 * -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 11.65 17.38 * 49

Construction and extraction

3.8 5.3 * 21.61 19.01 * -12

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.1 21.09 19.68 * -7

Production

6.6 5.3 * 16.59 15.43 * -7

Transportation and material moving

6.7 6.3 * 16.15 15.51 -4

* 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 Oklahoma City is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.


One occupational group – construction and extraction – was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Oklahoma City had 30,690 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 5.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.8-percent national share. However, the average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $19.01, more than 10 percent below the national wage of $21.61.

With employment of 3,330, construction laborers was the largest occupation within the construction and extraction group, followed by first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (3,140) and electricians (2,870). Among the higher paying jobs was first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers with a mean hourly wage of $29.45. Other high paying jobs included sheet metal workers and oil and gas rotary drill operators, at $24.37 and $23.33 per hour, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were construction laborers ($14.20) and cement masons and concrete finishers ($14.70). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_36420.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 Oklahoma City metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, oil and gas roustabouts were employed at 4.5 times the national rate in Oklahoma City, and oil and gas derrick operators, at 9.4 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, construction laborers had a location quotient of 0.9 in Oklahoma City, 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 Oklahoma Employment Security Commission.

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 Oklahoma City 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 Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,001 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Canadian, Cleveland, Grady, Lincoln, Logan, McClain, and Oklahoma Counties in Oklahoma.


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,
Oklahoma City Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
quotient(3)
Hourly Annual(4)

Construction and extraction occupations

30,690 1.4 $19.01 $39,540

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

3,140 1.5 29.45 61,260

Brickmasons and blockmasons

300 1.2 17.22 35,820

Stonemasons

90 1.8 20.58 42,800

Carpenters

2,840 1.1 16.63 34,580

Tile and marble setters

(5) (5) 12.33 25,640

Cement masons and concrete finishers

1,150 1.9 14.70 30,570

Construction laborers

3,330 0.9 14.20 29,540

Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators

710 2.9 15.01 31,220

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

1,310 0.9 18.61 38,700

Drywall and ceiling tile installers

250 0.7 16.31 33,930

Electricians

2,870 1.2 19.36 40,270

Glaziers

60 0.3 17.65 36,700

Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

300 3.0 16.05 33,390

Insulation workers, mechanical

(5) (5) 20.14 41,900

Painters, construction and maintenance

1,200 1.5 18.55 38,580

Pipelayers

350 1.8 16.68 34,690

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

1,800 1.2 19.23 39,990

Plasterers and stucco masons

(5) (5) 18.76 39,030

Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

(5) (5) 15.55 32,350

Roofers

570 1.3 15.35 31,930

Sheet metal workers

2,220 3.7 24.37 50,690

Structural iron and steel workers

(5) (5) 14.85 30,890

Helpers-brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters

150 1.3 12.02 25,000

Helpers-carpenters

(5) (5) 10.58 22,000

Helpers-electricians

460 1.7 14.28 29,700

Helpers-pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

170 0.8 11.51 23,940

Construction and building inspectors

180 0.5 23.33 48,530

Hazardous materials removal workers

230 1.4 15.35 31,940

Highway maintenance workers

450 0.7 15.90 33,060

Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners

90 0.8 13.96 29,040

Construction and related workers, all other

(5) (5) 12.12 25,210

Derrick operators, oil and gas

930 9.4 21.15 44,000

Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

1,030 9.1 23.33 48,530

Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

840 3.3 21.58 44,880

Earth drillers, except oil and gas

230 2.8 20.90 43,460

Explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters

(5) (5) 17.79 37,010

Roustabouts, oil and gas

1,190 4.5 16.57 34,470

Helpers-extraction workers

580 5.0 16.03 33,350

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Oklahoma City MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_36420.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 available.

Last Modified Date: May 9, 2013