News Release Information


Thursday, June 21, 2012



Occupational Employment and Wages in Augusta-Richmond County, May 2011

Workers in the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.39 in May 2011, about 11 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 16 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service, sales and related, and computer and mathematical. Two groups, production, and architecture and engineering, had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, production, and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations, office and administrative support, and transportation and material moving. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Augusta-Richmond County had 15,860 jobs in production, accounting for 7.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.5-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.05, measurably above the national wage of $16.45.

With employment of 2,290, team assemblers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders (1,130) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (940). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, and chemical plant and system operators, with mean hourly wages of $30.40 and $28.19 respectively.  At the lower end of the wage scale were team assemblers ($12.58) and metal and plastic molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders ($12.95). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2011
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Augusta United States Augusta Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $21.74 $19.39* -11


4.8 4.1* 51.64 46.25* -10

Business and financial operations

4.8 3.0* 33.05 30.01* -9

Computer and mathematical

2.7 1.3* 37.85 30.29* -20

Architecture and engineering

1.8 3.1* 37.08 38.92* 5

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.8 32.44 (2)

Community and social services

1.5 1.3* 21.07 17.62* -16


0.8 0.5* 47.30 38.12 -19

Education, training, and library

6.6 7.1* 24.46 22.30 -9

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8* 25.89 20.11* -22

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 8.2* 34.97 31.42* -10

Healthcare support

3.1 3.4* 13.16 11.89* -10

Protective service

2.5 3.0* 20.54 14.29* -30

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.2 10.30 9.37* -9

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.3 12.29 10.57* -14

Personal care and service

2.8 2.1* 11.84 10.54* -11

Sales and related

10.6 10.5 18.04 13.80* -24

Office and administrative support

16.7 15.4* 16.40 14.70* -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 11.68 (2)

Construction and extraction

3.9 4.4 21.46 18.62* -13

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.8* 20.86 19.97* -4


6.5 7.8* 16.45 18.05* 10

Transportation and material moving

6.7 5.7* 15.96 13.69* -14

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Augusta is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released.
* 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.

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 Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the production group. For instance, paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders were employed at 7.7 times the national rate in Augusta, and team assemblers, at 1.5 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, first-line supervisors of production and operating workers had a location of quotient of 1.1 in Augusta, 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 Georgia Department of Labor. 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 non-military 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 Augusta 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 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 Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,393 establishments with a response rate of 83 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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

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 Augusta-Richmond County, Ga. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Burke, Columbia, McDuffie, and Richmond Counties of Georgia and Aiken and Edgefield Counties of South Carolina.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at 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.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2011
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production Occupations


First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers


Engine and Other Machine Assemblers


Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters


Team Assemblers


Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other




Butchers and Meat Cutters


Food Batchmakers


Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic


Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic




Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Tool and Die Makers


Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers


Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Prepress Technicians and Workers


Printing Press Operators


Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers


Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials


Sewing Machine Operators


Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters


Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood


Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing


Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators


Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators


Chemical Plant and System Operators


Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders


Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders


Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers


Dental Laboratory Technicians


Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians


Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders


Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Painters, Transportation Equipment


Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers


Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators


Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders


Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic


Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Helpers--Production Workers


Production Workers, All Other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC, 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.


Last Modified Date: June 21, 2012