Occupational Employment and Wages in West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach,
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 groupoffice and administrative supportwas 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.)
|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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual (4)|
Office and Administrative Support Occupations
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers
Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service
Bill and Account Collectors
Billing and Posting Clerks
Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks
Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks
Credit Authorizers, Checkers, and Clerks
Customer Service Representatives
Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
Hotel, Motel, and Resort Desk Clerks
Interviewers, Except Eligibility and Loan
Library Assistants, Clerical
Loan Interviewers and Clerks
New Accounts Clerks
Human Resources Assistants, Except Payroll and Timekeeping
Receptionists and Information Clerks
Reservation and Transportation Ticket Agents and Travel Clerks
Information and Record Clerks, All Other
Cargo and Freight Agents
Couriers and Messengers
Police, Fire, and Ambulance Dispatchers
Dispatchers, Except Police, Fire, and Ambulance
Meter Readers, Utilities
Postal Service Clerks
Postal Service Mail Carriers
Postal Service Mail Sorters, Processors, and Processing Machine Operators
Production, Planning, and Expediting Clerks
Shipping, Receiving, and Traffic Clerks
Stock Clerks and Order Fillers
Weighers, Measurers, Checkers, and Samplers, Recordkeeping
Executive Secretaries and Executive Administrative Assistants
Secretaries and Administrative Assistants, Except Legal, Medical, and Executive
Data Entry Keyers
Word Processors and Typists
Insurance Claims and Policy Processing Clerks
Mail Clerks and Mail Machine Operators, Except Postal Service
Office Clerks, General
Office Machine Operators, Except Computer
Proofreaders and Copy Markers
Office and Administrative Support Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: June 11, 2012