News Release Information

Monday, July 27, 2015


Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (972) 850-4800

Occupational Employment and Wages in New Orleans–Metairie–Kenner, May 2014

Workers in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.71 in May 2014, about 9 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 4 of the 22 major occupational groups, including production; architecture and engineering; and transportation and material moving. Local wages were measurably lower than their respective national averages in 15 groups, including computer and mathematical, as well as protective service.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including food preparation and serving related; sales and related; and construction and extraction. Conversely, employment shares were significantly below their national representation in nine groups, including production; computer and mathematical; and office and administrative support. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
New Orleans-
New Orleans-

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0%   $22.71 $20.71 * -9


5.0 5.0   54.08 46.47 * -14

Business and financial operations

5.1 4.0 * 34.81 29.67 * -15

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.2 * 40.37 32.45 * -20

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.9   39.19 44.52 * 14

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.7 * 33.69 32.94   -2

Community and social service

1.4 1.1 * 21.79 19.51 * -10


0.8 1.0 * 48.61 47.21   -3

Education, training, and library

6.2 5.6 * 25.10 22.52 * -10

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 2.0 * 26.82 25.19   -6

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.8 6.3 * 36.54 31.92 * -13

Healthcare support

2.9 2.2 * 13.86 12.77 * -8

Protective service

2.4 3.2 * 21.14 17.38 * -18

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 11.3 * 10.57 9.93 * -6

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.2   12.68 11.31 * -11

Personal care and service

3.1 2.9   12.01 10.61 * -12

Sales and related

10.5 11.8 * 18.59 16.83 * -9

Office and administrative support

16.0 14.8 * 17.08 15.72 * -8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 12.09 18.37 * 52

Construction and extraction

3.9 5.0 * 22.40 20.24 * -10

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.7 * 21.74 20.48 * -6


6.6 4.6 * 17.06 21.31 * 25

Transportation and material moving

6.8 7.5 * 16.57 18.40 * 11

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

Note: * 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. New Orleans had 40,260 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 7.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.8-percent national share. The local wage for this occupational group was also significantly higher than the national average. The mean hourly wage for transportation and material moving workers in New Orleans was $18.40, about 11 percent above the national average of $16.57.

With employment of 11,460, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was one of the largest occupations within the transportation and material moving group, as were heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (5,460) and light truck or delivery services drivers (3,300). Among the higher paying jobs were captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels, as well as ship engineers, with mean hourly wages of $51.91 and $47.50, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were parking lot attendants ($9.14) and cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($10.53). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of all detailed occupations, see

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 New Orleans metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, sailors and marine oilers were employed at 22.8 times the national rate. Similarly, captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels, as well as ships engineers, had double-digit location quotients compared to the U.S. average, at 19.4 and 14.2, respectively. The location quotients for these three occupations were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, light truck or delivery services drivers had a location quotient of 1.0 in New Orleans, meaning the local employment share in this occupation matched the national average.

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 Louisiana Workforce Commission.


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 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,083 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 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 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 New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. Tammany Parishes in Louisiana.

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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
Hourly Annual(4)

Transportation and material moving occupations

40,260 1.1 $18.40 $38,270

Aircraft cargo handling supervisors

40 1.9 27.48 57,160

First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand

810 1.2 25.05 52,100

First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

940 1.2 27.63 57,470

Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

50 0.2 (5) 91,750

Commercial pilots

210 1.4 (5) 70,000

Bus drivers, transit and intercity

1,070 1.7 15.41 32,050

Bus drivers, school or special client

1,490 0.8 12.78 26,570

Driver/sales workers

1,360 0.8 12.57 26,140

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

5,460 0.8 19.52 40,600

Light truck or delivery services drivers

3,300 1.0 16.85 35,050

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

1,330 1.9 10.48 21,800

Motor vehicle operators, all other

240 1.0 15.23 31,670

Sailors and marine oilers

2,510 22.8 20.60 42,850

Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels

2,380 19.4 51.91 107,970

Motorboat operators

60 3.5 28.79 59,870

Ship engineers

570 14.2 47.50 98,800

Bridge and lock tenders

130 9.6 17.13 35,640

Parking lot attendants

820 1.5 9.14 19,020

Automotive and watercraft service attendants

300 0.7 14.69 30,550

Traffic technicians

(5) (5) 19.50 40,550

Transportation inspectors

50 0.5 31.56 65,640

Transportation attendants, except flight attendants

200 3.1 11.50 23,920

Transportation workers, all other

150 1.0 15.91 33,100

Conveyor operators and tenders

210 1.3 14.38 29,900

Crane and tower operators

780 4.4 23.27 48,400

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

120 0.6 21.39 44,490

Industrial truck and tractor operators

1,560 0.8 15.80 32,860

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

900 0.7 10.53 21,900

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

11,460 1.2 12.27 25,520

Machine feeders and offbearers

40 0.1 13.22 27,510

Packers and packagers, hand

720 0.3 10.63 22,100

Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers

60 1.3 23.13 48,120

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

260 0.6 14.48 30,110

Tank car, truck, and ship loaders

(5) (5) 17.91 37,250

Material moving workers, all other

90 1.0 15.15 31,520

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner MSA, 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) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Monday, July 27, 2015