Mid-Atlantic Information Office

News Release Information

13-841-PHI

Monday, May 6, 2013

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:

Occupational Employment and Wages in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News– May 2012

Workers in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.59 in May 2012, about 6 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 15 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal, computer and mathematical, and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0
100.0
$22.01
$20.59*
-6

Management

4.9
3.7*
52.20
50.06*
-4

Business and financial operations

4.9
5.5*
33.44
32.15*
-4

Computer and mathematical

2.7
2.9*
38.55
35.45*
-8

Architecture and engineering

1.8
2.9*
37.98
36.41*
-4

Life, physical, and social science

0.8
0.7*
32.87
31.06*
-6

Community and social service

1.4
1.5*
21.27
21.01
-1

Legal

0.8
0.7*
47.39
38.08*
-20

Education, training, and library

6.4
6.5
24.62
23.15*
-6

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3
1.2*
26.20
24.11
-8

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9
5.6*
35.35
33.47*
-5

Healthcare support

3.0
2.6*
13.36
12.77*
-4

Protective service

2.5
2.8*
20.70
18.27*
-12

Food preparation and serving related

8.9
9.8*
10.28
10.51
2

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3
3.6*
12.34
11.02*
-11

Personal care and service

2.9
3.3*
11.80
10.55*
-11

Sales and related

10.6
10.5
18.26
15.30*
-16

Office and administrative support

16.4
15.4*
16.54
15.72*
-5

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3
0.1*
11.65
12.23
5

Construction and extraction

3.8
5.0*
21.61
18.92*
-12

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9
4.5*
21.09
21.15
0

Production

6.6
4.9*
16.59
17.57
6

Transportation and material moving

6.7
6.6*
16.15
16.32
1
* 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 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News is above the national mean wage, while a negative percent difference reflects a lower wage.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Virginia Beach employment was more highly concentrated in 10 of the 22 occupational groups, which included architecture and engineering; construction and extraction; and installation, maintenance, and repair occupations. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included production, management, and office and administrative support occupations.

One occupational group—architecture and engineering—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Virginia Beach had 20,610 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 2.9 percent of local area employment, significantly above the 1.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $36.41, measurably below the national wage of $37.98.

WWith employment of 1,910, mechanical engineers was the largest occupation within the architecture and engineering group, closely followed by electrical and electronics engineering technicians with 1,890 jobs. Among the higher-paying jobs were aerospace engineers and electrical engineers with mean hourly wages of $54.48 and $40.11, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were surveying and mapping technicians ($18.37) and civil engineering technicians ($24.20). (Detailed occupational data for architecture and engineering are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_47260.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 the Virginia Beach area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, marine engineers and naval architects were employed at over 17 times the national rate in Virginia Beach, and electrical and electronic engineering technicians at over twice the U.S. rate. On the other hand, civil engineers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Virginia Beach, 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 Virginia Employment Commission and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and about 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News 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 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,517 establishments with a response rate of 75 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 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, Va.-N.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, and York Counties and Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, and Williamsburg cities in Virginia and Currituck County in North Carolina.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at http://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, Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment(2) Mean wage
Level Location quotient(3) Hourly Annual(4)

Architecture and engineering occupations

20,610 1.6 $36.41 $75,740

Architects, except landscape and naval

410 0.9 38.34 79,760

Landscape architects

110 1.2 27.05 56,260

Cartographers and photogrammetrists

50 0.8 31.00 64,490

Surveyors

250 1.1 29.81 61,990

Aerospace engineers

1,020 2.3 54.48 113,310

Biomedical engineers

60 0.6 (5) (5)

Chemical engineers

30 0.2 43.25 89,970

Civil engineers

1,550 1.1 37.01 76,980

Computer hardware engineers

300 0.7 50.58 105,200

Electrical engineers

1,230 1.4 40.11 83,440

Electronics engineers, except computer

1,210 1.6 38.47 80,010

Environmental engineers

440 1.6 41.53 86,390

Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors

110 0.9 37.06 77,080

Industrial engineers

860 0.7 39.64 82,450

Marine engineers and naval architects

670 17.6 38.84 80,790

Materials engineers

70 1 50.60 105,250

Mechanical engineers

1,910 1.4 40.66 84,580

Engineers, all other

1,370 2.0 46.00 95,670

Architectural and civil drafters

220 0.5 21.48 44,670

Electrical and electronics drafters

190 1.2 25.24 52,510

Aerospace engineering and operations technicians

(5) (5) 27.46 57,120

Civil engineering technicians

410 1 24.20 50,340

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

1,890 2.4 31.39 65,280

Environmental engineering technicians

150 1.5 17.22 35,820

Industrial engineering technicians

270 0.7 25.91 53,890

Mechanical engineering technicians

380 1.5 24.33 50,600

Surveying and mapping technicians

380 1.5 18.37 38,210

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_47260.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) Estimates not available.

Last Modified Date: May 6, 2013