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News Release Information

20-769-KAN
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (816) 285-7000

Occupational Employment and Wages in St. Louis — May 2019

Workers in the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.88 in May 2019, about 3 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Susan Mendez noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 12 of the 22 major occupational groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including life, physical, and social science; legal; and arts design, entertainment, sports, and media. Wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in four groups, including construction and extraction, production, and sales and related.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, St. Louis area employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, healthcare practitioners and technical, and food preparation and serving related. Conversely, eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, educational instruction and library, and construction and extraction. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States St. Louis United States St. Louis Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $25.72 $24.88* -3

Management

5.5 5.4 58.88 54.53* -7

Business and financial operations

5.6 6.0* 37.56 36.19* -4

Computer and mathematical

3.1 3.5* 45.08 40.85* -9

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6* 42.69 42.00 -2

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.8 37.28 30.85* -17

Community and social service

1.5 1.4* 24.27 21.89* -10

Legal

0.8 0.8 52.71 44.08* -16

Educational instruction and library

6.1 5.4* 27.75 26.90 -3

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.3* 29.79 25.21* -15

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.5* 40.21 35.40* -12

Healthcare support

4.4 4.6 14.91 13.93* -7

Protective service

2.4 2.3 23.98 23.76 -1

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.6* 12.82 11.84* -8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.0 3.0 15.03 14.41* -4

Personal care and service

2.2 2.3 15.03 13.71* -9

Sales and related

9.8 9.5 20.70 21.42* 3

Office and administrative support

13.3 14.3* 19.73 19.60 -1

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 15.07 16.46* 9

Construction and extraction

4.2 3.9* 25.28 29.74* 18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.7* 24.10 24.30 1

Production

6.2 6.2 19.30 20.33* 5

Transportation and material moving

8.5 7.9* 18.23 18.32 0

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. St. Louis had 196,530 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 14.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 13.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $19.60, compared to the national wage of $19.73.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included general office clerks (28,860), customer service representatives (24,900), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (24,130). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $30.18 and $28.22, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($11.74), and receptionists and information clerks ($14.13). (Detailed data for the office and administrative support occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41180.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 St. Louis 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 2.1 times the national rate in St. Louis, and loan interviewers and clerks, at 1.8 times the U.S. average. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in St. Louis, 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 Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

With the May 2019 estimates, the OES program has begun implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Each set of OES estimates is calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. These combinations may include occupations from more than one 2018 SOC minor group or broad occupation. Therefore, OES will not publish data for some 2018 SOC minor groups and broad occupations in the May 2019 estimates. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OES estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

In addition, the OES program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OES will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides.

For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 OES estimates, please see www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#qf10.

The May 2019 OES estimates use the metropolitan area definitions delineated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 17-01, which add a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Twin Falls, Idaho. For more information on the area definitions used in the May 2019 estimates, please see www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.


Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2019 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, and November 2016. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area included 7,771 establishments with a response rate of 56 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

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.

The May 2019 OES estimates are the first set of OES estimates to be based in part on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. These estimates use a hybrid of the 2010 and 2018 SOC systems. More information on the hybrid classification system is available at www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm.

The May 2019 OES estimates are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More information about the 2017 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

Metropolitan 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 St. Louis, MO Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, St. Louis city, and Warren Counties of Missouri and Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, and St. Clair Counties of Illinois.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed information about the OES program is available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_doc.htm.

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.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for office and administrative support occupations, St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and administrative support occupations

196,530 1.1 $19.60 $40,770

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

12,070 0.9 30.18 62,770

Switchboard operators, including answering service

740 1.2 14.29 29,720

Bill and account collectors

3,300 1.5 20.17 41,950

Billing and posting clerks

5,420 1.3 18.49 38,460

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

14,170 1.0 20.43 42,500

Gambling cage workers

(5) (5) 13.91 28,940

Payroll and timekeeping clerks

1,110 0.8 22.60 47,020

Procurement clerks

710 1.2 22.29 46,360

Tellers

4,280 1.0 14.40 29,960

Financial clerks, all other

340 1.2 19.92 41,440

Correspondence clerks

80 1.4 20.14 41,880

Court, municipal, and license clerks

2,360 1.6 18.40 38,280

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks

370 1.5 18.04 37,530

Customer service representatives

24,900 0.9 18.11 37,670

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

1,060 0.8 20.36 42,350

File clerks

1,050 1.1 18.96 39,440

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

1,800 0.7 11.74 24,420

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

2,470 1.4 18.17 37,790

Library assistants, clerical

460 0.6 11.80 24,530

Loan interviewers and clerks

3,540 1.8 19.06 39,650

New accounts clerks

(5) (5) 17.65 36,710

Order clerks

1,350 1.1 18.65 38,780

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

890 0.8 21.14 43,960

Receptionists and information clerks

7,600 0.8 14.13 29,390

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

680 0.6 23.18 48,220

Information and record clerks, all other

1,030 0.7 20.81 43,280

Cargo and freight agents

1,030 1.2 23.52 48,920

Couriers and messengers

350 0.5 14.42 30,000

Public safety telecommunicators

1,110 1.3 20.69 43,030

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

1,860 1.0 20.14 41,900

Meter readers, utilities

860 3.0 19.87 41,340

Postal service clerks

700 0.9 24.05 50,030

Postal service mail carriers

3,760 1.2 24.91 51,810

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

1,210 1.3 24.21 50,370

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

2,860 0.8 24.92 51,840

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

8,980 1.4 17.26 35,910

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

330 0.6 18.12 37,690

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

6,730 1.3 28.22 58,700

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

1,950 1.2 24.99 51,970

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

7,800 1.4 18.23 37,920

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

24,130 1.3 18.74 38,970

Data entry keyers

1,880 1.3 16.25 33,810

Word processors and typists

150 0.3 19.41 40,380

Desktop publishers

(5) (5) 25.84 53,740

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

4,950 2.1 19.30 40,140

Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

890 1.1 16.39 34,090

Office clerks, general

28,860 1.1 17.28 35,940

Office machine operators, except computer

500 1.2 17.22 35,820

Proofreaders and copy markers

70 1.0 21.60 44,930

Statistical assistants

160 1.8 24.54 51,030

Office and administrative support workers, all other

920 0.5 19.60 40,760

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the St. Louis, MO-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_41180.htm.
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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: Wednesday, May 20, 2020