U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Occupational Employment Statistics
Eighty-six percent of U.S. employment was found in metropolitan areas, but some
occupations were concentrated in nonmetropolitan areas
- Fourteen percent of all U.S. jobs were in nonmetropolitan areas. Most of the occupations with employment concentrated in nonmetropolitan
areas were related to mining, extraction, and logging.
- Postmasters and mail superintendents, and slaughterers and meatpackers, are the only occupations listed that do not directly involve mining, logging, or agriculture.
- When the great majority of an occupation's employment is in metropolitan areas, it may be the result of economies of agglomeration:
certain types of employers tend to form clusters of economic activity.
- Seven of the occupations concentrated almost exclusively in metropolitan areas are related to the performing arts, media, or
sports: theatrical and performance makeup artists; sound engineering technicians; agents and business managers of artists, performers,
and athletes; all other entertainers and performers, sports and related workers; multimedia artists and animators; film and video editors;
- Other occupations concentrated in metropolitan areas include many IT-related occupations, such as computers systems software
engineers, an occupation which is most highly concentrated in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA, metropolitan area.
The main factor that caused the average wage in Durham, North Carolina, to exceed the U.S. average by 16 percent was the higher-than-average shares of
employment in occupations that paid above-average wages
- Durham, NC, had higher-than-average employment concentrations in six of the seven highest paying occupational groups and lower-than-average
employment shares in many of the lower paying occupational groups, such as the food preparation and serving related group and the
personal care and service group.
- The employment share of life, physical, and social science occupations was 4.65 times higher in Durham, NC, than in the Nation as a whole. Only about 1 out of every 100 U.S. jobs was in this occupational group, compared with more than 4 out of every 100 jobs in Durham.
- Computer and mathematical science occupations had an employment concentration 3 times higher in Durham, NC, than at the national
level, as this group accounted for about 7 in 100 Durham jobs and about 2 in 100 U.S. jobs.
- Transportation and material moving occupations, which has below average wages, accounted for 7 percent of jobs in the United States
but only 4 percent of jobs in Durham.
- Only 4 out of 22 occupational groups had average wages significantly higher in Durham, NC, than at the national level.
Detailed occupations with the highest concentrations of employment in Durham, NC, relative to the occupations' corresponding employment concentrations in the United States, May 2008
||Durham, NC employment
||Percent of Durham, NC employment
||Percent of total U.S. employment
Social scientists and related workers, all other
Natural sciences managers
Health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other
Biochemists and biophysicists
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Biological scientists, all other
Life scientists, all other
Life, physical, and social science technicians, all other
Operations research analysts
Computer software engineers, systems software
Social science research assistants
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists
- The "concentration factor" column in the table shows how individual occupations' shares of employment in Durham, NC,
related to the same occupations' shares of employment at the national level. For example, loan counselors' employment concentration
in Durham, NC, was 11.5 times higher than loan counselors' employment concentration at the
- Of the 21 detailed occupations with the highest employment concentrations in Durham, NC, relative to the United States, over half were
life, physical, and social science occupations and 4 were computer and mathematical science occupations.
- The employment share of clinical, counseling, and school psychologists in Durham was about one-third of the U.S. employment
share for this occupation, making this the only life, physical, and social science occupation with a lower employment share in Durham,
NC, than in the United States as a whole.
Occupational mean wages in all metropolitan areas in North Carolina were below
national occupational mean wages, but employment was concentrated in higher
paying occupations in three metropolitan areas
- In the chart, the purple bar shows the difference between average wages in the metropolitan areas in North Carolina and average wage
in the United States. The blue bar shows the difference in total wages that is due to differences in occupational wages. The orange bar shows
the difference that is due to employment being concentrated in higher or lower paying occupations.
- Although the wages of individual occupations in Durham, NC, and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NCSC, were lower overall than the U.S.
average wages for the respective occupations, these metropolitan areas had average wages above the U.S. average because they had
a greater concentration of employment in higher paying occupations, as indicated by the blue bars in the chart.
- Durham, NC, had the highest average wage of all metropolitan areas in North Carolina because of Durham's high concentration of
employment in higher paying occupations.
Transportation and material moving occupations accounted for 16 percent of employment in the Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA, metropolitan area, but only 2 percent of employment in the Los Alamos, NM, nonmetropolitan area
- The areas with the highest concentrations of employment in transportation and material moving occupations were the Houma-Bayou
Cane-Thibodaux, LA, metropolitan area (163 per 1,000 workers); southwestern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area (144 per 1,000 workers);
Joplin, MO, metropolitan area (129 per 1,000 workers); Dalton, GA, metropolitan area (124 per 1,000 workers); and Linn County, OR,
nonmetropolitan area (120 per 1,000 workers).
- Houma-Bayou Cane-Thibodaux, LA, had a total of 15,440 transportation and material moving jobs. Two of the largest transportation and
material moving occupations were related to water transportation: captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels (with employment of 3,350);
and sailors and marine oilers (with employment of 2,700).
- The two largest transportation and material moving occupations in the other four areas listed above were heavy and tractor-trailer truck
drivers and the occupation of laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand.
- The areas with the highest wages for the transportation and material moving occupations included several nonmetropolitan areas, such as the southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($44,780), railbelt/southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area ($44,530), and Nantucket Island and Martha's Vineyard nonmetropolitan area ($43,250).
- In the southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area, occupations with high wages included ship engineers ($66,860); first-line supervisors/managers
of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators ($65,110); commercial pilots ($56,780); first-line supervisors/managers of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand ($56,670); and captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels ($53,660).
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Last Modified Date: April 2, 2010