Occupational Employment and Wages in Mobile, May 2011
Workers in the Mobile Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.84 in May 2011, about 13 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, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 17 of the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction, healthcare support, and office and administrative support.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction; installation, maintenance, and repair; and transportation and material moving. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; food preparation and serving related; and business and financial operations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
One occupational group—construction and extraction—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Mobile had 11,010 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 6.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.20, measurably below the national wage of $21.46.
With employment of 1,830, electricians was the largest occupation within the construction and extraction group, followed by construction laborers (1,310) and first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (1,090). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, and electricians, with mean hourly wages of $25.51 and $21.50, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were construction laborers ($11.46) and electrician helpers ($13.15). (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/2011/may/oes_33660.htm.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Mobile||United States||Mobile||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
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 Mobile Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, electrician helpers were employed at 8.6 times the national rate in Mobile, and electricians, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, carpenters had a location quotient of 1.2 in Mobile, 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 Industrial Relations. 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 Mobile 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.
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 Mobile Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,967 establishments with a response rate of 80 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.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Mobile, Ala. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Mobile County.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly|
Construction and Extraction Occupations
First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers
Brickmasons and Blockmasons
Tile and Marble Setters
Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers
Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators
Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators
Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers
Insulation Workers, Mechanical
Painters, Construction and Maintenance
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
Sheet Metal Workers
Structural Iron and Steel Workers
Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters
Helpers--Painters, Paperhangers, Plasterers, and Stucco Masons
Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters
Construction and Building Inspectors
Hazardous Materials Removal Workers
Highway Maintenance Workers
Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas
Last Modified Date: September 25, 2012