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17-710-ATL
Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Chattanooga – May 2016

Workers in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.16 in May 2016, about 16 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 19 of the 22 major occupational groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; management; and healthcare practitioners and technical. One group—farming, fishing, and forestry—had a significantly higher wage than its respective national average.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; transportation and material moving; and healthcare practitioners and technical. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; education, training, and library; 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 Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Chattanooga United States Chattanooga Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $23.86 $20.16* -16

Management

5.1 5.8* 56.74 44.82* -21

Business and financial operations

5.2 3.8* 36.09 30.22* -16

Computer and mathematical

3.0 1.9* 42.25 35.76* -15

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.8 40.53 37.59 -7

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 35.06 28.32* -19

Community and social service

1.4 1.1* 22.69 19.37* -15

Legal

0.8 0.5* 50.95 45.51 -11

Education, training, and library

6.2 4.9* 26.21 21.03* -20

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.9* 28.07 21.19* -25

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 7.0* 38.06 31.27* -18

Healthcare support

2.9 2.7 14.65 13.67* -7

Protective service

2.4 2.0* 22.03 16.98* -23

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.4 11.47 9.82* -14

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.1 13.47 10.87* -19

Personal care and service

3.2 2.5* 12.74 11.22* -12

Sales and related

10.4 10.3 19.50 17.46* -10

Office and administrative support

15.7 16.6* 17.91 16.07* -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 13.37 13.99* 5

Construction and extraction

4.0 3.0* 23.51 19.66* -16

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.6* 22.45 21.38* -5

Production

6.5 9.1* 17.88 15.85* -11

Transportation and material moving

6.9 8.2* 17.34 15.75* -9

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Chattanooga had 21,720 jobs in production, accounting for 9.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.5-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.85, significantly below the national wage of $17.88.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included team assemblers (4,360), welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (1,350), and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,250). Among the higher paying jobs were power plant operators and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $34.31 and $26.24, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.45) and meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers ($10.18). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16860.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 Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the production group. For instance, photographic process workers and processing machine operators were employed at 14.2 times the national rate in Chattanooga, and team assemblers, at 2.3 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, packaging and filling machine operators and tenders had a location quotient of 1.0 in Chattanooga, 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 Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Note on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

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. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, 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.

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 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 2016 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, and November 2013. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 73 percent based on establishments and 69 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,653 establishments with a response rate of 74 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

The May 2016 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 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 Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Hamilton, Marion, Sequatchie Counties of Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker Counties of Georgia.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southeast. 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/current/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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

21,720 1.4 $15.85 $32,960

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

1,250 1.2 26.24 54,570

Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers

100 0.3 15.25 31,710

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

370 2.9 16.52 34,370

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

(5) (5) 15.56 32,360

Team assemblers

4,360 2.3 14.30 29,740

Assemblers and fabricators, all other

540 1.4 13.61 28,300

Bakers

380 1.3 10.63 22,110

Butchers and meat cutters

170 0.8 12.92 26,870

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

300 1.2 10.18 21,170

Food batchmakers

400 1.6 13.98 29,080

Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic

100 0.4 20.31 42,250

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

40 1.2 15.25 31,730

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

(5) (5) 14.10 29,330

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

520 1.6 14.62 30,420

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

130 1.0 16.42 34,160

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

50 1.6 16.25 33,790

Machinists

790 1.2 18.83 39,160

Model makers, metal and plastic

30 3.2 23.67 49,230

Foundry mold and coremakers

70 3.1 16.86 35,080

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

350 1.4 14.83 30,860

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

170 0.9 17.61 36,640

Tool and die makers

140 1.2 22.44 46,680

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

1,350 2.1 19.97 41,540

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders

370 4.7 21.85 45,450

Metal workers and plastic workers, all other

40 1.0 16.75 34,840

Prepress technicians and workers

70 1.2 14.95 31,100

Printing press operators

680 2.4 14.68 30,540

Print binding and finishing workers

(5) (5) 16.29 33,890

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

610 1.8 9.45 19,650

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

30 0.4 9.29 19,320

Sewing machine operators

200 0.8 10.40 21,640

Textile bleaching and dyeing machine operators and tenders

160 8.9 14.49 30,130

Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders

530 14.5 14.49 30,150

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 13.28 27,620

Textile, apparel, and furnishings workers, all other

50 2.0 12.73 26,480

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

120 0.7 14.66 30,490

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

120 1.0 13.94 28,990

Power plant operators

80 1.3 34.31 71,360

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

180 0.9 19.07 39,660

Chemical plant and system operators

40 0.7 30.84 64,150

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

160 1.3 18.14 37,730

Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 14.28 29,710

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

40 0.8 17.24 35,870

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

130 0.6 14.63 30,430

Cutters and trimmers, hand

(5) (5) 12.83 26,680

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 14.43 30,020

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

930 1.1 17.41 36,210

Medical appliance technicians

30 1.4 19.45 40,460

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

680 1.0 11.88 24,710

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

180 1.2 16.64 34,610

Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

630 14.2 (5) (5)

Helpers--production workers

660 0.9 12.10 25,160

Production workers, all other

230 0.5 15.03 31,260

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Chattanooga, TN-GA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16860.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.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 24, 2017