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Office and administrative support occupations make up nearly 16 percent of U.S. employment, May 2013

April 09, 2014

In May 2013, office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making up nearly 16 percent of total U.S. employment. The next largest groups were sales and related occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations, which made up about 11 and 9 percent, respectively. Seven of the 10 largest occupations were in one of these three groups.

Percent of total employment and annual mean wage, by major occupational group, May 2013
Occupational groupPercent of total
U.S. employment
Annual mean wagePercent employed
in private sector

Office and Administrative Support  

16.2$34,90084.9

Sales and Related  

10.638,20099.4

Food Preparation and Serving Related  

9.021,58095.4

Transportation and Material Moving  

6.833,86092.9

Production  

6.634,93097.9

Education, Training, and Library  

6.351,50024.0

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical  

5.874,74085.0

Business and Financial Operations  

5.071,02082.4

Management  

4.9110,55084.6

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair  

3.944,42089.6

Construction and Extraction  

3.845,63090.6

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance  

3.226,01083.1

Personal Care and Service  

3.024,71088.3

Healthcare Support  

3.028,30092.4

Computer and Mathematical  

2.882,01088.9

Protective Service  

2.543,51037.8

Architecture and Engineering  

1.880,10087.2

Community and Social Service  

1.444,71061.9

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media  

1.355,58089.0

Life, Physical, and Social Science  

0.969,40060.6

Legal  

0.899,62074.6

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry  

0.324,33094.2
Management occupationsLegal occupationsArchitecture and engineering occupationsComputer and mathematical occupationsHealthcare practitioners, and technical occupationsLife, physical, and social science occupationsArts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupationsBusiness and financial operations occupationsProtective service occupationsConstruction and extraction occupationsCommunity and social service occupationsInstallation, maintenance, and repair occupationsEducation, training, and library occupationsOffice and administrative support occupationsSales and related occupationsFood preparation and service related occupationsProduction occupationsTransportation and material moving occupationsHealthcare support occupationsBuilding and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupationsPersonal care and service occupationsFarming, fishing, and forestry occupations


The smallest occupational groups included legal occupations and life, physical, and social science occupations, each making up less than 1 percent of total employment in May 2013.

The highest-paying occupational groups were management, legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering occupations. Most detailed occupations in these groups were also high paying. For example, all 19 computer and mathematical occupations had average wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean of $46,440, ranging from $50,450 for computer user support specialists to $109,260 for computer and information research scientists.

The lowest-paying occupational groups were food preparation and serving related; farming, fishing, and forestry; personal care and service; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and healthcare support occupations. Annual mean wages for these groups ranged from $21,580 for food preparation and serving related occupations to $28,300 for healthcare support occupations. With few exceptions, the detailed occupations in these groups had below-average wages. For example, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants were the only healthcare support occupations with mean wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean.

Among 665,850 employed persons in the District of Columbia in May 2013, there were about 3,370 political scientists—accounting for 50.6 out of every 10,000 jobs in the District of Columbia. In all of the United States there were 5,570 political scientists employed out of a total of 132,588,810 employed people—meaning less than 1 (0.42) out of every 10,000 jobs in America were political scientists.  The ratio that compares the concentration of employment in a defined area (in this case, the District of Columbia) to that of a larger area (the United States) is referred to by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the "location quotient."

Occupations with the highest relative concentration (location quotient) among those with employment of 500 or more, by state, May 2013

Occupations with the highest relative concentration (location quotient) among those with employment of 500 or more, by state, May 2013
StateOccupationLocation quotientEmployment

Alabama

Layout workers, metal and plastic9.051,690

Alaska

Zoologists and wildlife biologists18.65840

Arizona

Plasterers and stucco masons4.371,680

Arkansas

Shoe machine operators and tenders13.35500

California

Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse5.89171,160

Colorado

Atmospheric and space scientists9.651,800

Connecticut

Actuaries5.171,280

Delaware

Chemists12.703,460

District of Columbia

Political scientists120.463,370

Florida

Motorboat operators8.301,590

Georgia

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders10.497,990

Hawaii

Dancers12.83670

Idaho

Forest and conservation technicians15.582,140

Illinois

Rail transportation workers, all other5.67870

Indiana

Boilermakers6.392,190

Iowa

Soil and plant scientists12.811,900

Kansas

Agricultural equipment operators5.411,240

Kentucky

Roof bolters, mining14.141,120

Louisiana

Riggers19.954,920

Maine

Logging equipment operators11.151,200

Maryland

Subway and streetcar operators12.022,050

Massachusetts

Biochemists and biophysicists5.383,850

Michigan

Model makers, metal and plastic6.121,140

Minnesota

Food scientists and technologists6.782,060

Mississippi

Upholsterers16.763,940

Missouri

Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other3.91750

Montana

Forest and conservation technicians20.732,040

Nebraska

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers10.3311,620

Nevada

Gaming supervisors31.986,990

New Hampshire

Metal workers and plastic workers, all other11.801,230

New Jersey

Marriage and family therapists4.984,170

New Mexico

Physical scientists, all other12.031,660

New York

Fashion designers6.347,180

North Carolina

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders8.886,880

North Dakota

Extraction workers, all other35.75910

Ohio

Foundry mold and coremakers3.541,790

Oklahoma

Gaming managers12.74670

Oregon

Logging workers, all other40.151,390

Pennsylvania

Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators4.66890

Rhode Island

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers7.05560

South Carolina

Tire builders11.802,860

South Dakota

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation9.44650

Tennessee

Nuclear technicians4.94700

Texas

Petroleum engineers6.8419,660

Utah

Mine cutting and channeling machine operators8.36540

Vermont

Highway maintenance workers4.761,490

Virginia

Legal support workers, all other7.158,950

Washington

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers15.6814,310

West Virginia

Mine shuttle car operator76.871,120

Wisconsin

Foundry mold and coremakers6.261,670

Wyoming

Wellhead pumpers24.75700
Washington: Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblersOregon: Logging workers, all otherCalifornia: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouseIdaho: Forest and conservation techniciansNevada: Gaming supervisorsMontana: Forest and conservation techniciansWyoming: Wellhead pumpersUtah: Mine cutting and channeling machine operatorsArizona: Plasterers and stucco masonsColorado: Atmospheric and space scientistsNew Mexico: Physical scientists, all otherNorth Dakota: Extraction workers, all otherSouth Dakota: Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetationNebraska: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmersKansas: Agricultural equipment operatorsOklahoma: Gaming managersTexas: Petroleum engineersLouisiana: RiggersArkansas: Shoe machine operators and tendersMissouri: Entertainment attendants and related workers, all otherIowa: Soil and plant scientistsMinnesota: Food scientists and technologistsAlaska: Zoologists and wildlife biologistsHawaii: DancersKentucky: Roof bolters, miningTennessee: Nuclear techniciansMississippi: UpholsterersAlabama: Layout workers, metal and plasticFlorida: Motorboat operatorsGeorgia: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tendersSouth Carolina: Tire buildersNorth Carolina: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tendersVirginia: Legal support workers, all otherDistrict of Columbia: Political scientistsWest Virginia: Mine shuttle car operatorMaryland: Subway and streetcar operatorsDelaware: ChemistsWisconsin: Foundry mold and coremakersIllinois: Rail transportation workers, all otherMichigan: Model makers, metal and plasticIndiana: BoilermakersOhio: Foundry mold and coremakersPennsylvania: Gas compressor and gas pumping station operatorsNew Jersey: Marriage and family therapistsNew York: Fashion designersConnecticut: ActuariesRhode Island: Jewelers and precious stone and metal workersMassachusetts: Biochemists and biophysicistsVermont: Highway maintenance workersNew Hampshire: Metal workers and plastic workers, all otherMaine: Logging equipment operators

The location quotient of political scientists in the District of Columbia is 50.6 divided by 0.42 (the location quotient of political scientists in the United States), which equals about 120.5—indicating there are about 120.5 times as many political scientists per 10,000 total employed people in the District of Columbia as in the United States as a whole.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see, "Occupational Employment and Wages — May 2013" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-0528.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Editor's Desk, Office and administrative support occupations make up nearly 16 percent of U.S. employment, May 2013 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140409.htm (visited July 28, 2014).

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