Southeast Information Office


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12-917-ATL

Thursday, May 24, 2012

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Occupational Employment and Wages in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach,
May 2011

Workers in the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.76 in May 2011, about 5 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 10 of the 22 major occupational groups, including transportation and material moving, construction and extraction, and installation, maintenance, and repair. Three groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including sales and related, food preparation and serving related, and management.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including food preparation and serving related, office and administrative support, and protective service. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, transportation and material moving, and computer and mathematical. (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. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach had 91,800 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 18.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.7-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.76, measurably below the national wage of $16.40.

With employment of 11,310, 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 (9,770) and general office clerks (9,750). 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 $24.66 and $21.41, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were stock clerks and order fillers ($11.28) and tellers ($13.14). (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/2011/may/oes_48424.htm.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division, and measures of statistical significance, May 2011
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States West Palm Beach United States West Palm Beach Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $21.74 $20.76* -5

Management

4.8 3.7* 51.64 53.79* 4

Business and financial operations

4.8 5.4* 33.05 31.92 -3

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.1* 37.85 34.32* -9

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.3* 37.08 34.51* -7

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 32.44 28.54* -12

Community and social services

1.5 1.1* 21.07 20.26 -4

Legal

0.8 1.2* 47.30 45.60 -4

Education, training, and library

6.6 4.9* 24.46 24.49 0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.3 25.89 22.84* -12

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 6.3* 34.97 35.66 2

Healthcare support

3.1 3.4 13.16 13.03 -1

Protective service

2.5 3.7* 20.54 19.98 -3

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 11.0* 10.30 10.80* 5

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 4.7* 12.29 11.53* -6

Personal care and service

2.8 3.0 11.84 12.16 3

Sales and related

10.6 12.9* 18.04 19.47* 8

Office and administrative support

16.7 18.5* 16.40 15.76* -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2) 11.68 11.09 -5

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.5* 21.46 19.08* -11

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.0 20.86 18.88* -9

Production

6.5 2.8* 16.45 15.68* -5

Transportation and material moving

6.7 4.1* 15.96 14.06* -12

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released
* 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 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, file clerks were employed at 1.7 times the national rate in West Palm Beach, and receptionists and information clerks at 1.5 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, customer service representatives had a location quotient of 1.1 in West Palm 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 Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. 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 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 West Palm Beach metropolitan division 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 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division included 3,581 establishments with a response rate of 77 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.

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 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Fla. Metropolitan Division includes Palm Beach County.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro4/home.htm. If you have additional questions, contact the Southeast Economic Analysis and Information Unit at (404) 893-4222. 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.

OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach Metropolitan Division, May 2011
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and Administrative Support Occupations

91,8001.1$15.76$32,790

First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers

5,1901.024.6651,300

Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

5601.112.1325,220

Bill and Account Collectors

2,5401.716.8234,980

Billing and Posting Clerks

1,1200.615.8532,960

Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks

6,9901.117.1835,730

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

3800.618.6438,780

Procurement Clerks

2100.817.0935,550

Tellers

2,7601.313.1427,340

Brokerage Clerks

5802.518.1337,700

Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks

1500.818.0837,600

Customer Service Representatives

9,7701.114.4530,060

Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs

600.114.5730,310

File Clerks

1,0601.713.7528,600

Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks

9201.111.5023,930

Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan

(5)(5)13.8328,760

Library Assistants, Clerical

5001.213.1027,250

Loan Interviewers and Clerks

8201.116.8435,020

New Accounts Clerks

1800.812.8726,780

Order Clerks

1,2401.512.8626,740

Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping

4300.817.6536,710

Receptionists and Information Clerks

5,7401.513.4828,040

Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks

3800.813.5628,210

Information and Record Clerks, All Other

7000.917.5736,550

Cargo and Freight Agents

2700.917.5236,450

Couriers and Messengers

2900.914.8830,940

Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers

4501.223.7849,470

Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance

3900.616.1733,630

Meter Readers, Utilities

1300.816.4634,240

Postal Service Clerks

2501.025.3552,720

Postal Service Mail Carriers

1,3501.125.6853,410

Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators

5801.124.3550,640

Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks

5900.620.3742,360

Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks

2,4000.913.4427,940

Stock Clerks and Order Fillers

9,0801.311.2823,450

Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping

3301.315.0731,350

Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants

4,8201.321.4144,520

Legal Secretaries

1,3601.620.3842,390

Medical Secretaries

1,4100.714.9631,120

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

11,3101.515.3431,910

Computer Operators

2300.818.2137,870

Data Entry Keyers

9701.214.3129,770

Word Processors and Typists

2100.614.0229,160

Desktop Publishers

1201.614.4129,980

Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks

8801.017.0335,420

Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service

3300.712.3025,580

Office Clerks, General

9,7500.913.4928,060

Office Machine Operators, Except Computer

1200.514.3629,870

Proofreaders and Copy Markers

701.619.9341,450

Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other

6800.712.9626,950

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_48424.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 11, 2012

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