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13-1119-PHI

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Charleston – May 2012

Workers in the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.72 in May 2012, roughly 15 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service, computer and mathematical, and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Charleston United States Charleston Percent difference(1)

Total, all occupations

100.0
100.0
$22.01
$18.72*
-15

Management

4.9
4.8
52.20
37.63*
-28

Business and financial operations

4.9
3.7*
33.44
25.70*
-23

Computer and mathematical

2.7
1.3*
38.55
27.04*
-30

Architecture and engineering

1.8
1.5*
37.98
31.68*
-17

Life, physical, and social science

0.8
0.7
32.87
23.59*
-28

Community and social service

1.4
1.2*
21.27
17.57*
-17

Legal

0.8
1.5*
47.39
35.03*
-26

Education, training, and library

6.4
4.5*
24.62
20.56*
-16

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3
0.9*
26.20
21.10*
-19

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9
6.9*
35.35
30.08*
-15

Healthcare support

3.0
3.3
13.36
10.55*
-21

Protective service

2.5
2.7*
20.70
13.52*
-35

Food preparation and serving related

8.9
7.7*
10.28
9.51*
-7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3
2.9*
12.34
9.92*
-20

Personal care and service

2.9
2.7*
11.80
9.90*
-16

Sales and related

10.6
9.6*
18.26
13.89*
-24

Office and administrative support

16.4
17.4*
16.54
14.42*
-13

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3
0.1*
11.65
13.73
18

Construction and extraction

3.8
9.2*
21.61
22.34
3

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9
5.2*
21.09
19.04*
-10

Production

6.6
4.2*
16.59
17.93
8

Transportation and material moving

6.7
7.9*
16.15
16.78
4

* 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.

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Charleston is above the national mean wage, while a negative percent difference reflects a lower wage.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Charleston employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups including construction and extraction; installation, maintenance and repair; and legal. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included production; education, training, and library; and computer and mathematical.

One occupational group—construction and extraction—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Charleston had 13,300 jobs in construction and extraction occupations, accounting for 9.2 percent of local area employment, more than twice the national share of 3.8 percent. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $22.34, not significantly different from the national wage of $21.61.

With employment of 2,370, construction laborers made up the largest occupation within the construction and extraction group, followed by operating engineers and other construction equipment operators (2,130). Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, with a mean hourly wage of $34.72, and mining roof bolters, with a wage of $28.35. At the lower end of the wage scale were highway maintenance workers ($11.25) and carpenters ($18.05). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16620.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 as it does nationally. In Charleston, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, mining roof bolters were employed at 73 times the national rate in Charleston, and highway maintenance workers, at about 7 times the U.S. rate. In contrast, carpenters had a location quotient of 1.2 in Charleston, indicating that the local employment share in this particular occupation was close to the national average.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, WorkForce West Virginia.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc/.

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: 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. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,779 establishments with a response rate of 67 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

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 Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Boone, Clay, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam Counties in West Virginia.

Additional information
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro3. 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/2012/may/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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Charleston Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment(2) Mean wage
Level Location quotient(3) Hourly Annual(4)

Construction and extraction occupations

13,300 2.4 $22.34 $46,460

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

1,270 2.5 34.72 72,210

Brickmasons and blockmasons

(5) (5) 15.91 33,080

Carpenters

760 1.2 18.05 37,530

Carpet installers

40 1.3 11.91 24,780

Cement masons and concrete finishers

150 1.0 17.24 35,870

Construction laborers

2,370 2.6 18.51 38,490

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

2,130 5.7 24.06 50,040

Electricians

1,220 2.1 26.83 55,800

Painters, construction and maintenance

240 1.2 21.16 44,000

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

480 1.3 22.31 46,400

Plasterers and stucco masons

40 1.6 17.01 35,380

Roofers

70 0.7 15.13 31,460

Sheet metal workers

250 1.7 23.09 48,020

Structural iron and steel workers

150 2.3 24.01 49,930

Helpers--carpenters

50 1.3 (5) (5)

Helpers--pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

80 1.5 12.44 25,860

Construction and building inspectors

80 0.8 20.96 43,600

Highway maintenance workers

1,110 7.1 11.25 23,400

Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

60 1.0 24.93 51,850

Continuous mining machine operators

(5) (5) 26.35 54,800

Roof bolters, mining

550 73.0 28.35 58,960

Roustabouts, oil and gas

80 1.2 16.64 34,610

Helpers--extraction workers

410 14.4 22.08 45,920

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Charleston MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16620.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: June 5, 2013