Southeast Information Office


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12-1807-ATL

Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Knoxville,
May 2011

Workers in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.45 in May 2011, about 11 percent below the nationwide average of $21.74, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 20 groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including protective service, construction and extraction, and management.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, food preparation and serving related, and management. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; business and financial operations; and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Knoxville had 25,970 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $31.10, measurably below the national wage of $34.97.

With employment of 9,870, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (2,250) and pharmacy technicians (1,480). Among the higher paying jobs were pharmacists and registered nurses, with mean hourly wages of $54.81 and $29.08, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were emergency medical technicians and paramedics ($14.36) and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses ($17.07). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2011/may/oes_28940.htm.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2011
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Knoxville United States Knoxville Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $21.74 $19.45* -11

Management

4.8 5.4* 51.64 43.59* -16

Business and financial operations

4.8 3.6* 33.05 30.20* -9

Computer and mathematical

2.7 1.8* 37.85 31.31* -17

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.4* 37.08 38.81 5

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.7* 32.44 30.60* -6

Community and social services

1.5 1.0* 21.07 17.15* -19

Legal

0.8 0.6* 47.30 38.37* -19

Education, training, and library

6.6 5.1* 24.46 21.04* -14

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.0* 25.89 20.70* -20

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 8.0* 34.97 31.10* -11

Healthcare support

3.1 3.0 13.16 12.51* -5

Protective service

2.5 2.1* 20.54 15.57* -24

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.5* 10.30 9.43* -8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.7* 12.29 10.84* -12

Personal care and service

2.8 2.8 11.84 10.25* -13

Sales and related

10.6 10.0* 18.04 16.86* -7

Office and administrative support

16.7 17.2 16.40 14.94* -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 11.68 12.18 4

Construction and extraction

3.9 4.3* 21.46 17.81* -17

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.3* 20.86 18.39* -12

Production

6.5 6.4 16.45 15.68* -5

Transportation and material moving

6.7 7.1 15.96 14.70* -8

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Knoxville 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 Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, surgical technologists were employed at 2.5 times the national rate in Knoxville, and emergency medical technicians and paramedics, at 1.9 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses had a location quotient of 1.2 in Knoxville, 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 Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and nearly 800 non-military 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 Knoxville 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 also are surveyed, but their data are not included in this release. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 establishments in May and November of each year for a 3-year period. The nationwide response rate for the May 2011 survey was 77.3 percent based on establishments and 73.3 percent based on employment. May 2011 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, November 2009, May 2009, and November 2008. The sample in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,664 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.

The May 2011 OES estimates mark the first set of estimates based in part on data collected using the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Nearly all the occupations in this release are 2010 SOC occupations; however, some are not. The May 2012 OES data will reflect the full set of detailed occupations in the 2010 SOC. For a list of all occupations, including 2010 SOC occupations, and how data collected on two structures were combined, see the OES Frequently Asked Questions online at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#Ques41.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; TDD message referral phone number: 1-800-877-8339.

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 Knoxville, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union Counties.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2011
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

25,9701.4$31.10$64,680

Chiropractors

701.033.2269,090

Dentists, General

1300.6105.39219,210

Dietitians and Nutritionists

1300.924.7951,550

Pharmacists

9301.454.81114,010

Anesthesiologists

1702.1115.32239,870

Family and General Practitioners

500.268.06141,560

Internists, General

(5)(5)78.86164,030

Psychiatrists

400.783.89174,480

Surgeons

3603.4(6)(6)

Physicians and Surgeons, All Other

6900.9110.16229,140

Physician Assistants

5002.443.9791,450

Registered Nurses

9,8701.429.0860,480

Occupational Therapists

2601.038.8480,790

Physical Therapists

5201.134.1371,000

Radiation Therapists

701.630.0562,500

Recreational Therapists

400.816.6434,600

Respiratory Therapists

4801.721.6344,990

Speech-Language Pathologists

4001.427.5157,210

Veterinarians

1000.737.7278,470

Audiologists

(5)(5)23.9349,770

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

5901.425.6553,350

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

7802.015.1231,440

Dental Hygienists

5701.234.6872,130

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

1801.418.4438,350

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

2401.725.2252,460

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

701.329.2360,810

Radiologic Technologists and Technicians

9401.723.9049,710

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

1,1201.914.3629,880

Dietetic Technicians

901.513.5728,220

Pharmacy Technicians

1,4801.712.7126,430

Surgical Technologists

6002.517.0135,370

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

2901.514.1929,510

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

2,2501.217.0735,500

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

5801.314.4930,140

Opticians, Dispensing

1100.815.3531,920

Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other

1200.521.3944,480

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

2501.739.3581,850

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

602.030.3763,160

Athletic Trainers

501.0(5)42,300

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other

3602.624.7851,540

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Knoxville, TN, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28940.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.
(6) This wage is equal to or greater than $80.00 per hour or $166,400 per year.

Last Modified Date: September 20, 2012