For release: Thursday, July 8, 2010
BLSInfoAtlanta@bls.gov  
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Occupational Employment and Wages for Selected Truck Driver Occupations
in Tennessee's Metropolitan Areas May 2009

Driver/sales workers in Tennessee earned an average (mean) hourly wage of $11.40, while heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers averaged $18.17, and light or delivery services truck drivers averaged $14.62, according to data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that among the 10 metropolitan areas in Tennessee, average wages for driver/sales workers fell significantly below the national average (mean) wage of $12.83 in 8 areas. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers’ wages fell significantly below the national average of $18.87 in 7 areas, while light or delivery service truck drivers registered a significantly lower wage than the national average of $14.96 in 2 areas. (See table A.)

Table A. Average (mean) hourly wages for driver/sales workers and truck driver occupations in the United States and metropolitan areas in Tennessee, May 2009
Area Driver/Sales Workers Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Light or Delivery Services Truck Drivers

United States

$12.83 $18.87 $14.96

Tennessee

*11.40 *18.17 *14.62

Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

*10.95 *18.21 15.64

Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.

*9.39 *14.48 *11.67

Cleveland

*15.82 *18.42 *13.57

Jackson

*10.23 *17.66 12.94

Johnson City

*9.63 *13.78 13.92

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.

*11.67 *15.98 15.62

Knoxville

*10.22 *18.33 14.28

Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

*12.10 19.47 14.73

Morristown

*8.99 *21.89 14.56

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin

*14.21 18.38 *16.28

Footnotes:
(*) The mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

Of the 10 metropolitan areas in Tennessee, Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin had the largest employment in 2 of the 3 occupations—driver/sales workers and light or delivery services truck drivers—with a combined 7,040 workers, nearly one-quarter of Tennessee’s employment in those two occupations. Memphis registered the largest employment in the heavy tractor-trailer truck driver occupation with 14,700 workers, more than one-quarter of the state’s employment in that occupation. (See table B.)

Table B. Employment for driver/sales workers and truck driver occupations in the United States and metropolitan areas in Tennessee, May 2009
Area Driver/Sales Workers Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers Light or Delivery Service Truck Drivers

United States

363,050 1,550,930 834,780

Tennessee

11,540 54,340 17,050

Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

880 7,070 1,510

Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky.

690 790 530

Cleveland

50 750 230

Jackson

-- 1,130 380

Johnson City

-- 780 500

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.

510 1,920 750

Knoxville

2,150 6,190 2,370

Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark.

1,850 14,700 3,300

Morristown

170 1,670 350

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin

2,870 11,790 4,170

Footnotes:
(--) Estimate not released.

Wages for driver/sales workers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee

Cleveland was the highest-paying metropolitan area in the State for driver/sales workers at $15.82, significantly higher than the national average. Wages in one other area, Nashville, were also significantly higher than those for the nation. Driver/sales workers in the remaining 8 metropolitan areas in Tennessee had below-average wages, with Morristown ($8.99) registering the lowest wage in this occupation. Lower wage metropolitan areas were spread geographically throughout the State. (See chart A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in Tennessee, please see Technical Note.)

Chart A. Mean hourly wages for driver/sales workers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009

Chart A. Mean hourly wages for driver/sales workers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009

Wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee

The Morristown metropolitan area paid the highest hourly wage ($21.89) in the State for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, measurably higher than the national average. This was the only metropolitan area in the State with wages above the national average for this occupation. At the bottom of the wage scale, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in Johnson City were paid $13.78 per hour. One other area—Clarksville—had hourly wages below $15.00. (See chart B.)

Chart B. Mean hourly wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009

Chart B. Mean hourly wages for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009 

Wages for light or delivery services truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee

Nashville was the highest-paying metropolitan area in Tennessee for light or delivery services truck drivers at $16.28, the only metropolitan area measurably higher than the national average. Two other areas, Chattanooga ($15.64) and Kingsport ($15.62) registered wages above $15.00. Light or delivery services truck drivers earned the lowest wage in Clarksville ($11.67), followed by Jackson ($12.94) and Cleveland ($13.57). (See chart C.)

Chart C. Mean hourly wages for light or delivery services truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009

Chart C. Mean hourly wages for light or delivery services truck drivers in metropolitan areas in Tennessee, compared to the United States, May 2009 

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between the BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development in Tennessee. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and up to 801 non-military detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas.

OES wage and employment data for driver/sales workers and truck driver occupations in Tennessee and 10 Metropolitan Statistical Areas 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.

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 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 this release. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year forms are mailed to two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments, one panel in May and the other in November. May 2009 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2009, November 2008, May 2008, November 2007, May 2007, and November 2006. The overall national response rate for the six panels was 78.2 percent based on establishments and 74.5 percent based on employment. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

The OES survey uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Since May 2008, OES estimates and survey data have been based on the 2007 NAICS. Earlier panel data and estimates were based on the 2002 NAICS. For more information about NAICS, go to www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

Metropolitan 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, dated November 2007.

Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Hamilton, Marion, and Sequatchie Counties in Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker Counties in Georgia.

Clarksville, Tenn.-Ky. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Montgomery and Stewart Counties in Tennessee and Christian and Trigg Counties in Kentucky.

Cleveland, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Bradley and Polk Counties in Tennessee.

Jackson, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Chester and Madison Counties in Tennessee.

Johnson City, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Carter, Unicoi, and Washington Counties in Tennessee.

Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, Tenn.-Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Hawkins and Sullivan Counties in Tennessee, Scott and Washington Counties in Virginia, and Bristol city in Virginia.

Knoxville, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Anderson, Blount, Knox, Loudon, and Union Counties in Tennessee.

Memphis, Tenn.-Miss.-Ark. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Fayette, Shelby, and Tipton Counties in Tennessee; DeSoto, Marshall, Tate, and Tunica Counties in Mississippi; and Crittenden County in Arkansas.

Morristown, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Grainger, Hamblen, and Jefferson Counties in Tennessee.

Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area is composed of Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson Counties in Tennessee.

Additional information

OES data are available on the Southeast regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro4/home.htm. If you have additional questions, contact the Southeast Economic Analysis and Information Office at 404-893-4222 during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. ET. 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.

 

Last Modified Date: July 8, 2010