News Release Information


Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Further information:

Occupational Employment and Wages in Albuquerque, May 2012

Workers in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.69 in May 2012, about 6 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, 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 significantly lower than their respective national averages in 15 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal, protective service, and sales and related workers. Only two groups had wages that were measurably higher than their respective national averages: life, physical, and social science occupations; and healthcare support workers.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including architecture and engineering, personal care and service, and construction and extraction. Conversely, employment shares were significantly below their national representation in seven groups, including production, transportation and material moving, and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Albuquerque United States Albuquerque Percent

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $20.69 * -6


4.9 5.1 52.20 45.36 * -13

Business and financial operations

4.9 4.8 33.44 30.06 * -10

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.6 38.55 36.06 * -6

Architecture and engineering

1.8 3.4 * 37.98 38.05 0

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 1.3 * 32.87 36.04 * 10

Community and social service

1.4 1.7 * 21.27 20.05 * -6


0.8 0.9 47.39 35.97 * -24

Education, training, and library

6.4 6.1 * 24.62 21.21 * -14

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.1 * 26.20 21.90 * -16

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.7 * 35.35 34.71 -2

Healthcare support

3.0 3.0 13.36 13.91 * 4

Protective service

2.5 2.9 * 20.70 16.93 * -18

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 9.4 * 10.28 9.83 * -4

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 3.2 12.34 10.81 * -12

Personal care and service

2.9 4.2 * 11.80 10.40 * -12

Sales and related

10.6 9.7 * 18.26 15.33 * -16

Office and administrative support

16.4 17.0 * 16.54 15.56 * -6

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 11.65 11.95 3

Construction and extraction

3.8 4.8 * 21.61 18.61 * -14

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.4 * 21.09 19.73 * -6


6.6 3.6 * 16.59 16.84 2

Transportation and material moving

6.7 5.1 * 16.15 15.62 -3

* 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.
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Albuquerque is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

One occupational group–architecture and engineering–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Albuquerque had 12,490 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.4 percent of local area employment, nearly double the 1.8-percent national share. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $38.05 compared to the national average of $37.98.

With employment of 1,000, industrial engineers was among the largest occupation within the architecture and engineering group, followed by civil engineers (970) and electronics engineers, except computer (940). Among the higher paying jobs were nuclear engineers and aerospace engineers, with mean hourly wages of $61.40 and $49.49, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were surveying and mapping technicians ($18.21) and environmental engineering technicians ($19.70). (Detailed occupational data for architecture and engineering are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to

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 Albuquerque metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, cartographers and photogrammetrists were employed at 5.9 times the national rate in Albuquerque, and electro-mechanical technicians at 10.1 times the U.S. average. Albuquerque’s electro-mechanical technicians location quotient ranked second in the country among all metropolitan areas and the cartographers and photogrammetrists employment concentration ranked third. On the other hand, electrical engineers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Albuquerque, 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 New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Albuquerque 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 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,043 establishments with a response rate of 80 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Bernalillo, Sandoval, Torrance, and Valencia Counties in New Mexico.

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,
Albuquerque Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
Hourly Annual(4)

Architecture and engineering occupations

12,490 1.9 $38.05 $79,150

Architects, except landscape and naval

340 1.5 34.38 71,510

Cartographers and photogrammetrists

190 5.9 23.58 49,040


160 1.4 27.24 56,660

Aerospace engineers

420 1.9 49.49 102,950

Chemical engineers

80 0.9 50.46 104,960

Civil engineers

970 1.4 40.79 84,840

Computer hardware engineers

790 3.5 48.06 99,970

Electrical engineers

440 1.0 42.66 88,720

Electronics engineers, except computer

940 2.5 50.39 104,810

Environmental engineers

230 1.6 42.86 89,150

Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors

100 1.5 39.17 81,470

Industrial engineers

1,000 1.6 44.51 92,570

Materials engineers

70 1.0 49.01 101,950

Mechanical engineers

540 0.8 44.23 92,000

Nuclear engineers

90 1.6 61.40 127,720

Engineers, all other

1,140 3.3 52.09 108,350

Architectural and civil drafters

400 1.7 23.77 49,440

Electrical and electronics drafters

150 1.9 27.40 57,000

Mechanical drafters

170 1.0 27.85 57,930

Drafters, all other

40 0.9 17.25 35,880

Civil engineering technicians

310 1.5 23.28 48,430

Electrical and electronics engineering technicians

660 1.6 28.60 59,490

Electro-mechanical technicians

480 10.1 31.78 66,110

Environmental engineering technicians

190 3.6 19.70 40,970

Mechanical engineering technicians

150 1.2 28.77 59,830

Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other

470 2.6 27.41 57,000

Surveying and mapping technicians

150 1.1 18.21 37,890

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Albuquerque 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.

Last Modified Date: June 4, 2013