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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Birmingham-Hoover,
May 2012

Workers in the Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.27 in May 2012, about 8 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 17 of the 22 major occupational groups, including personal care and service, healthcare practitioners and technical, and construction and extraction.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including sales and related, healthcare practitioners and technical, and office and administrative support. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related; education, training, and library; and business and financial operations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

One occupational group—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Birmingham-Hoover had 86,010 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 17.7 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.4-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.86, measurably below the national wage of $16.54.

With employment of 11,470, secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive was the largest occupation within the office and administrative support group, followed by customer service representatives (10,320) and general office clerks (8,990). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $26.16 and $24.90, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were stock clerks and order fillers ($10.93) and receptionists and information clerks ($11.59). (Detailed occupational data for office and administrative support are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_13820.htm.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $20.27* -8

Management

4.9 4.2* 52.20 52.06 0

Business and financial operations

4.9 4.0* 33.44 31.48* -6

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.4* 38.55 34.42* -11

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.4* 37.98 32.67* -14

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 32.87 27.91* -15

Community and social services

1.4 0.9* 21.27 20.00* -6

Legal

0.8 0.8 47.39 45.07 -5

Education, training, and library

6.4 5.2* 24.62 24.51 0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.3 26.20 17.49* -33

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 7.7* 35.35 30.61* -13

Healthcare support

3.0 2.7* 13.36 12.09* -10

Protective service

2.5 2.7 20.70 16.89* -18

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 7.3* 10.28 9.60* -7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 2.9* 12.34 10.68* -13

Personal care and service

2.9 2.7 11.80 10.02* -15

Sales and related

10.6 12.8* 18.26 17.32* -5

Office and administrative support

16.4 17.7* 16.54 15.86* -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 11.65 15.80* 36

Construction and extraction

3.8 4.4* 21.61 18.82* -13

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.0* 21.09 20.50 -3

Production

6.6 6.3 16.59 16.00* -4

Transportation and material moving

6.7 6.9 16.15 14.68* -9

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Birmingham 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.

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 Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, government programs eligibility interviewers were employed at 2.4 times the national rate in Birmingham, and legal secretaries, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in Birmingham, 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 Alabama Department of Labor.

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 Birmingham 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 Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,528 establishments with a response rate of 78 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 Birmingham-Hoover, Ala. Metropolitan Statistical Area&nbsp includes Bibb, Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, and Walker Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro4/home.htm. 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: 800-877-8339.


OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Birmingham-Hoover Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

86,0101.1$15.86$32,990

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

6,1401.226.1654,410

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

5001.112.2425,460

Telephone Operators

401.012.5026,010

Bill and Account Collectors

2,4701.715.6632,580

Billing and Posting Clerks

1,9301.115.9933,260

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

6,7401.117.2535,880

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

7001.118.0737,590

Procurement Clerks

1700.616.6134,550

Tellers

3,0601.512.5126,030

Financial Clerks, All Other

800.621.0643,800

Brokerage Clerks

2100.920.5842,800

Correspondence Clerks

401.017.8737,180

Court, Municipal, and License Clerks

5601.215.9033,070

Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks

2001.016.2333,770

Customer Service Representatives

10,3201.214.6530,470

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

1,1402.420.6142,860

File Clerks

4000.712.7726,570

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

6000.79.6220,010

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

1,2701.714.5630,280

Library Assistants, Clerical

4101.110.0320,860

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

1,4502.015.6732,590

New Accounts Clerks

(5)(5)13.6328,350

Order Clerks

6100.814.5030,160

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

3600.716.6934,710

Receptionists and Information Clerks

3,2000.911.5924,120

Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks

1600.316.0133,310

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

3900.618.8839,280

Cargo and Freight Agents

1100.421.5744,870

Couriers and Messengers

5401.911.7124,350

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

5201.517.3636,120

Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance

6400.916.0033,270

Meter Readers, Utilities

1801.218.0337,500

Postal Service Clerks

2701.024.2950,520

Postal Service Mail Carriers

1,2801.124.4350,800

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

5901.223.3948,660

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

6000.620.4642,550

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

2,4601.014.1029,340

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

6,7001.010.9322,730

Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping

3601.412.4025,780

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

1,4600.524.9051,800

Legal Secretaries

1,7402.218.3638,190

Medical Secretaries

1,2800.714.7630,690

Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive

11,4701.516.5034,310

Computer Operators

3701.416.9835,320

Data Entry Keyers

5100.712.9626,960

Word Processors and Typists

1100.314.6630,490

Desktop Publishers

701.317.4936,390

Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks

1,4201.716.2633,830

Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service

3600.913.3627,780

Office Clerks, General

8,9900.911.6724,280

Office Machine Operators, Except Computer

2701.115.0331,250

Statistical Assistants

901.717.2335,850

Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other

3600.417.4336,250

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Birmingham-Hoover, AL, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_13820.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: April 30, 2013

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