OCCUPATIONAL EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES IN SAN DIEGO-CARLSBAD-SAN MARCOS
Workers in the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.41 in May 2012, about 11 percent above the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 15 of the 22 major occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; life, physical, and social science; and management. Only one group had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages: transportation and material moving.
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; architecture and engineering; and life, physical, and social science. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, production, and healthcare practitioners and technical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||San Diego||United States||San Diego||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
One occupational grouplife, physical, and social sciencewas chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos had 24,290 jobs in life, physical, and social science, accounting for 1.9 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 0.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $37.07, measurably above the national wage of $32.87.
With employment of 5,310, medical scientists, except epidemiologists, was the largest occupation within the life, physical, and social science group, followed by biological technicians (2,210) and chemists (1,890). Among the higher paying jobs were epidemiologists and economists, with mean hourly wages of $54.70 and $50.83, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were agricultural and food science technicians ($14.95) and forest and conservation technicians ($19.81). (Detailed occupational data for life, physical, and social science are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_41740.htm.)
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 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the life, physical, and social science group. For instance, biochemists and biophysicists were employed at 6.1 times the national rate in San Diego, and medical scientists, except epidemiologists, at 5.8 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, chemical technicians had a location quotient of 0.9 in San Diego, indicating that this particular occupations 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 California Employment Development Department.
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 San Diego 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 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 San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos Metropolitan Statistical Area included 6,465 establishments with a response rate of 72 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, Calif. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes San Diego County.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro9/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: 1-800-877-8339.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations
Food Scientists and Technologists
Soil and Plant Scientists
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Biological Scientists, All Other
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
Life Scientists, All Other
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers
Physical Scientists, All Other
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists
Psychologists, All Other
Urban and Regional Planners
Anthropologists and Archeologists
Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other
Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
Geological and Petroleum Technicians
Social Science Research Assistants
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health
Forensic Science Technicians
Forest and Conservation Technicians
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other
Last Modified Date: May 2, 2013