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Thursday, May 18, 2017


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Tucson — May 2016

Workers in the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.42 in May 2016, about 10 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 14 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management; legal; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. No wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including personal care and service; office and administrative support; and food preparation and serving related. Conversely, five groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; transportation and material moving; and business and financial operations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Tucson United States Tucson Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $23.86 $21.42* -10


5.1 5.2 56.74 43.57* -23

Business and financial operations

5.2 4.2* 36.09 30.03* -17

Computer and mathematical

3.0 3.2* 42.25 37.42* -11

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.1* 40.53 44.71 10

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 1.1* 35.06 29.46* -16

Community and social service

1.4 2.2* 22.69 19.49* -14


0.8 0.7* 50.95 41.34* -19

Education, training, and library

6.2 6.2 26.21 22.87 -13

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.3 28.07 21.65* -23

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.7* 38.06 37.12 -2

Healthcare support

2.9 2.8 14.65 14.95 2

Protective service

2.4 3.3* 22.03 22.09 0

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 10.2* 11.47 11.55 1

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.1 13.47 12.01* -11

Personal care and service

3.2 4.9* 12.74 11.50* -10

Sales and related

10.4 10.0 19.50 15.25* -22

Office and administrative support

15.7 17.0* 17.91 16.77* -6

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 13.37 12.79 -4

Construction and extraction

4.0 3.7 23.51 19.36* -18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.0 22.45 21.44* -4


6.5 3.2* 17.88 18.07 1

Transportation and material moving

6.9 4.6* 17.34 14.87* -14

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Tucson 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—personal care and service—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Tucson had 17,480 jobs in personal care and service, accounting for 4.9 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $11.50, significantly below the national wage of $12.74.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the personal care and service group included personal care aides (8,820), first-line supervisors of personal service workers (1,310), and hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists (1,090). Among the higher paying jobs were morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors and skincare specialists, with mean hourly wages of $20.15 and $18.01, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were childcare workers ($9.99) and personal care aides ($10.06). (Detailed occupational data for personal care and service are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to .)

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 Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the personal care and service group. For instance, skincare specialists were employed at 3.0 times the national rate in Tucson, and first-line supervisors of personal service workers, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, amusement and recreation attendants had a location quotient of 1.1 in Tucson, 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 Arizona Department of Administration.

Notes 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

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 Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,730 establishments with a response rate of 65 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Tucson, Ariz. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Pima County.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at

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, Tucson Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Personal care and service occupations

17,480 1.5 $11.50 $23,920

First-line supervisors of personal service workers

1,310 2.7 15.41 32,050

Animal trainers

(5) (5) 15.70 32,660

Nonfarm animal caretakers

390 0.8 11.71 24,350

Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

230 0.8 10.44 21,710

Amusement and recreation attendants

770 1.1 11.52 23,960

Locker room, coatroom, and dressing room attendants

100 2.1 10.53 21,910

Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other

100 2.6 11.45 23,810

Funeral attendants

50 0.5 12.80 26,620

Morticians, undertakers, and funeral directors

(5) (5) 20.15 41,910

Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

1,090 1.2 12.89 26,810

Manicurists and pedicurists

230 1.0 12.92 26,880

Skincare specialists

330 3.0 18.01 37,460

Baggage porters and bellhops

190 1.7 10.69 22,240


140 1.7 13.54 28,170

Tour guides and escorts

90 0.9 13.43 27,940

Travel guides

30 4.4 11.28 23,470

Childcare workers

870 0.6 9.99 20,790

Personal care aides

8,820 2.3 10.06 20,930

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

820 1.3 16.23 33,760

Recreation workers

1,040 1.2 10.50 21,830

Residential advisors

190 0.7 16.56 34,440

Personal care and service workers, all other

(5) (5) 12.77 26,560

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Tucson, AZ, see
(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: Thursday, May 18, 2017