News Release Information

13-1067-SAN

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Contacts

OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES IN TACOMA
May 2012

Workers in the Tacoma Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $22.42 in May 2012, about 2 percent above the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 12 of the 22 major occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, protective service, and construction and extraction. Seven groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction; healthcare practitioners and technical; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, computer and mathematical, and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $22.42 2

Management

4.9 3.7* 52.20 50.12* -4

Business and financial operations

4.9 4.1* 33.44 31.11* -7

Computer and mathematical

2.7 1.5* 38.55 34.29* -11

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.2* 37.98 37.54 -1

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6* 32.87 32.59 -1

Community and social services

1.4 2.1* 21.27 21.21 0

Legal

0.8 0.7 47.39 39.10* -17

Education, training, and library

6.4 7.2* 24.62 23.67* -4

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8* 26.20 22.08* -16

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 6.8* 35.35 40.53* 15

Healthcare support

3.0 3.6 13.36 15.62* 17

Protective service

2.5 2.5 20.70 24.96* 21

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 9.7* 10.28 11.99* 17

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.1 12.34 14.06* 14

Personal care and service

2.9 3.2 11.80 12.89* 9

Sales and related

10.6 11.0 18.26 16.85* -8

Office and administrative support

16.4 15.8 16.54 18.14* 10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 11.65 18.01* 55

Construction and extraction

3.8 4.8* 21.61 25.68* 19

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.9* 21.09 24.30* 15

Production

6.6 4.9* 16.59 18.90* 14

Transportation and material moving

6.7 7.4* 16.15 18.92* 17

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Tacoma 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—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Tacoma had 17,490 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 6.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $40.53, measurably above the national wage of $35.35.

With employment of 5,770, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (1,730) and medical records and health information technicians (700). Among the higher paying jobs were general internists and psychiatrists, with mean hourly wages of $98.93 and $92.85, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were dietetic technicians ($15.03) and veterinary technologists and technicians ($17.08). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_45104.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 Tacoma Metropolitan Division, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, physician assistants were employed at 2.3 times the national rate in Tacoma, and general dentists, at 2.0 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, pharmacists had a location quotient of 1.0 in Tacoma, 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 Washington Employment Security Department.

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 Tacoma metropolitan division 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 Tacoma Metropolitan Division included 2,470 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 Tacoma, Wash. Metropolitan Division  includes Pierce County.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro9/home.htm. 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.

OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Tacoma Metropolitan Division, May 2012
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual(4)

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

17,4901.2$40.53$84,310

Chiropractors

1001.930.7063,850

Dentists, General

3702.092.27191,930

Dietitians and Nutritionists

1201.028.8760,060

Pharmacists

5601.053.21110,670

Family and General Practitioners

(5)(5)87.90182,840

Internists, General

1401.698.93205,770

Psychiatrists

801.692.85193,130

Surgeons

(5)(5)(7)(7)

Physicians and Surgeons, All Other

7401.299.94207,860

Physician Assistants

3702.351.24106,570

Occupational Therapists

2401.233.4869,630

Physical Therapists

3100.833.9970,700

Recreational Therapists

701.821.0843,850

Respiratory Therapists

2201.028.5359,350

Speech-Language Pathologists

1900.833.5969,870

Veterinarians

2001.844.7393,030

Registered Nurses

5,7701.135.8874,640

Audiologists

(5)(5)31.0064,470

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other

500.840.5084,240

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

3701.231.9966,540

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

2100.720.3542,320

Dental Hygienists

5601.541.9487,230

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

(5)(5)33.6870,060

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

1301.235.8174,490

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

501.439.3381,810

Radiologic Technologists

3600.929.8962,170

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

701.237.5478,090

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

1400.333.2469,140

Dietetic Technicians

(5)(5)15.0331,260

Pharmacy Technicians

6300.920.1941,990

Surgical Technologists

2501.322.0045,750

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

2201.417.0835,530

Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

400.718.2237,900

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

1,7301.222.1646,080

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

7002.017.8037,020

Opticians, Dispensing

1200.918.9739,460

Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other

2901.826.5955,300

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

1601.335.8574,570

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other

(5)(5)25.1752,350

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Tacoma, WA Metropolitan Division, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_45104.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 released.
(7) This wage is equal to or greater than $80.00 per hour or $166,400 per year.

 

Last Modified Date: May 30, 2013