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15-1110-ATL
Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Memphis – May 2014

Workers in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.96 in May 2014, about 12 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, 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 higher than their respective national averages in 1 of the 22 major occupational groups. Twenty groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; management; and construction and extraction.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving; and healthcare practitioners and technical. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; and construction and extraction. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Memphis United States Memphis Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.71 $19.96* -12

Management

5.0 5.3* 54.08 45.08* -17

Business and financial operations

5.1 3.3* 34.81 30.27* -13

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.5* 40.37 35.39* -12

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.2* 39.19 35.29* -10

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6* 33.69 29.84* -11

Community and social services

1.4 1.0* 21.79 19.88* -9

Legal

0.8 0.5* 48.61 42.19* -13

Education, training, and library

6.2 5.6* 25.10 23.20* -8

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8* 26.82 22.09* -18

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 6.4* 36.54 33.56* -8

Healthcare support

2.9 2.4* 13.86 12.58* -9

Protective service

2.4 3.2* 21.14 16.43* -22

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 8.3* 10.57 9.41* -11

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.4 12.68 11.76* -7

Personal care and service

3.1 2.8 12.01 10.76* -10

Sales and related

10.5 9.9* 18.59 18.24 -2

Office and administrative support

16.0 16.1 17.08 16.34* -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.09 12.79* 6

Construction and extraction

3.9 2.8* 22.40 18.65* -17

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.0 21.74 20.49* -6

Production

6.6 6.0 17.06 16.60* -3

Transportation and material moving

6.8 14.7* 16.57 15.53* -6

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Memphis 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—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Memphis had 87,670 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 14.7 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.53, significantly below the national wage of $16.57.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (36,240), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (12,520), and industrial truck and tractor operators (6,960). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators; and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with mean hourly wages of $27.53 and $20.70, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($10.70) and taxi drivers and chauffeurs ($10.72). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2014/may/oes_32820.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 Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers were employed at 3.4 times the national rate in Memphis, and industrial truck and tractor operators, at 3.0 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, driver/sales workers had a location quotient of 0.9 in Memphis, 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 Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

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. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,664 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

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 www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, respectively.

The May 2014 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 www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

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 Memphis, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Crittenden County, Arkansas; DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, and Tunica Counties of Mississippi, and Fayette, Shelby, and Tipton Counties of Tennessee.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southeast. 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/2014/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: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Transportation and Material Moving Occupations

87,670 2.2 $15.53 $32,290

First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand

2,330 3.1 25.33 52,690

First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators

1,440 1.7 27.53 57,270

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

310 0.9 (5) 93,560

Commercial Pilots

30 0.2 (5) 87,360

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians

80 0.9 10.50 21,830

Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity

840 1.2 16.48 34,270

Bus Drivers, School or Special Client

(5) (5) 11.24 23,380

Driver/Sales Workers

1,670 0.9 13.63 28,360

Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers

12,520 1.8 20.70 43,050

Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers

5,280 1.5 17.49 36,380

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

630 0.8 10.72 22,300

Motor Vehicle Operators, All Other

180 0.7 16.11 33,520

Railroad Brake, Signal, and Switch Operators

130 1.4 27.05 56,260

Railroad Conductors and Yardmasters

210 1.1 28.18 58,610

Sailors and Marine Oilers

310 2.5 17.43 36,260

Captains, Mates, and Pilots of Water Vessels

310 2.3 39.23 81,600

Ship Engineers

120 2.7 28.21 58,670

Parking Lot Attendants

260 0.4 9.12 18,980

Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants

340 0.7 11.98 24,920

Traffic Technicians

50 1.8 20.59 42,830

Transportation Inspectors

200 1.8 27.62 57,440

Transportation Workers, All Other

70 0.4 15.78 32,820

Crane and Tower Operators

200 1.0 22.39 46,560

Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators

140 0.7 19.85 41,290

Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators

6,960 3.0 13.68 28,460

Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment

1,160 0.8 10.70 22,260

Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand

36,240 3.4 12.84 26,700

Machine Feeders and Offbearers

(5) (5) 14.08 29,280

Packers and Packagers, Hand

(5) (5) 9.77 20,320

Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors

330 0.7 13.91 28,930

Tank Car, Truck, and Ship Loaders

220 3.9 16.62 34,580

Material Moving Workers, All Other

260 2.6 10.92 22,720

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Memphis, TN-MS-AR, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_32820.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: Wednesday, July 22, 2015