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May 21, 2014


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Sioux Falls, S.D. MSA – May 2013

Workers in the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.85 in May 2013, about 16 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 1 of the 22 major occupational groups: farming, fishing, and forestry. Twenty groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; office and administrative support; and sales and related. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; management; and protective service. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Sioux Falls United States Sioux Falls Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.33 $18.85* -16


4.9 3.0* 53.15 50.87* -4

Business and financial operations

5.0 5.3* 34.14 28.38* -17

Computer and mathematical

2.8 2.5* 39.43 28.40* -28

Architecture and engineering

1.8 0.9* 38.51 29.27* -24

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.6* 33.37 29.57* -11

Community and social services

1.4 1.3* 21.50 18.25* -15


0.8 0.6* 47.89 33.67* -30

Education, training, and library

6.3 3.7* 24.76 18.65* -25

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.6* 26.72 16.96* -37

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 8.8* 35.93 31.29* -13

Healthcare support

3.0 2.7* 13.61 12.84* -6

Protective service

2.5 1.4* 20.92 18.99* -9

Food preparation and serving related

9.0 8.9 10.38 9.45* -9

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.6 12.51 11.35* -9

Personal care and service

3.0 3.1 11.88 11.10* -7

Sales and related

10.6 11.9* 18.37 18.40 0

Office and administrative support

16.2 18.1* 16.78 13.99* -17

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 11.70 14.78* 26

Construction and extraction

3.8 4.4* 21.94 17.09* -22

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.6 21.35 20.75* -3


6.6 6.9 16.79 14.84* -12

Transportation and material moving

6.8 7.1 16.28 14.83* -9

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Sioux Falls 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.

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Sioux Falls had 12,380 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $31.29, measurably below the national wage of $35.93.

With employment of 5,550, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (710) and pharmacy technicians (610). Among the higher paying jobs were family and general practitioners and optometrists, with mean hourly wages of $102.91 and $97.51, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($13.97) and emergency medical technicians and paramedics ($15.28). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow for the exploration of an area’s occupational make-up 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 Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, opticians, dispensing were employed at 2.7 times the national rate in Sioux Falls, and surgical technologists, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, dental hygienists had a location quotient of 1.0 in Sioux Falls, 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 South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Sioux Falls 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 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 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,878 establishments with a response rate of 88 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 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. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and, respectively.

The May 2013 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at .

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 Sioux Falls, S.D. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha, and Turner Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at  Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at 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.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Sioux Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual(4)

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

12,380 1.5 $31.29 $65,090


40 1.4 30.84 64,150

Dentists, General

110 1.1 87.04 181,040

Dietitians and Nutritionists

60 1.0 25.08 52,160


(5) (5) 97.51 202,830


500 1.6 51.72 107,580

Family and General Practitioners

110 0.9 102.91 214,060

Internists, General

100 2.0 (6) (6)


140 3.1 (6) (6)

Physicians and Surgeons, All Other

190 0.6 116.38 242,060

Physician Assistants

160 1.7 45.12 93,850

Occupational Therapists

170 1.5 31.09 64,660

Physical Therapists

240 1.1 31.95 66,450

Respiratory Therapists

160 1.3 22.02 45,810

Speech-Language Pathologists

130 1.0 25.60 53,240


(5) (5) 34.24 71,210

Registered Nurses

5,550 2.0 25.78 53,630

Nurse Anesthetists

140 3.7 80.37 167,180

Nurse Practitioners

240 2.0 41.51 86,340

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

370 2.1 25.82 53,700

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

210 1.2 15.95 33,180

Dental Hygienists

200 1.0 30.82 64,110

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

100 1.8 24.22 50,380

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

160 2.6 26.21 54,520

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

100 4.8 25.69 53,440

Radiologic Technologists

370 1.8 22.21 46,200

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

30 1.0 24.25 50,440

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

140 0.5 15.28 31,790

Pharmacy Technicians

610 1.6 13.97 29,050

Surgical Technologists

230 2.2 18.26 37,980

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

130 1.4 16.34 33,990

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

710 0.9 16.79 34,920

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

370 1.9 17.91 37,240

Opticians, Dispensing

190 2.7 15.34 31,900

Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other

60 0.7 22.98 47,790

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

50 0.8 27.99 58,220

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Sioux Falls, SD, see
(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: Wednesday, May 21, 2014