Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Baseball, Hot Dogs, and Statistics

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Summer is in full swing, which means that when I’m not talking about BLS data, I’m talking about baseball, something I could do full time. Luckily these two topics have a lot in common; nothing quite says statistics in the summertime like baseball does. We fans have followed baseball statistics for nearly as long as the game has been played. Teams today increasingly use statistics—or “analytics”—to decide which players to add to their rosters, who to play in any game situation, and even where to position fielders for certain batters. That’s a lot like the innovations BLS and the other federal statistical agencies focus on to help people make informed decisions for their families, businesses, and the broader economy.

I grew up a St. Louis Cardinals fan until the mid-1960s, when the lamentable Kansas City Athletics moved to Oakland and the American League expansion team, Kansas City Royals, brought winning baseball to Kansas. I had a second home, as it were, in the seats of Kauffman Stadium, or “The K” to us Kansas City Royals fans. Today I cheer for the Washington Nationals, having lived in the D.C. area for the past 25 years. Regardless of your favorite team, if you’re a baseball fan you know statistics are a huge part of how your team performs. While I could talk about George Brett’s batting average, home runs, or wins above replacement, let’s instead look at where America’s agency on labor data meets America’s favorite pastime.

Spectator sports employed over 144,000 workers in 2018. The map below shows the metropolitan areas with the most jobs in spectator sports. The New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA metro area, home of the Yankees and Mets, employs the most people at 8,674. Spectator sports include all professional and semi-professional sport teams.

Employment in spectator sports by metropolitan area, 2018

Editor’s note: Data for this map are available in the table below.

Also consider the Occupational Employment Statistics program. In 2018, there were 27,780 radio and television announcers and 7,480 public address announcers. There were also 236,970 coaches and scouts and 19,090 umpires and referees in 2018.

Here’s a look at some of the occupations within the spectator sports industry:

Employment in selected occupations in the spectator sports industry, May 2018

Editor’s note: Data for this chart are available in the table below.

If you’re going to the game, the Consumer Price Index can tell you how prices have changed over time. For example, ticket prices for sporting events decreased 0.8 percent from June 2018 to June 2019. Over the same period, parking fees and tolls increased 3.2 percent and prices for food away from home increased 3.1 percent. At the low end of the increases is beer away from home—a modest 0.8 increase over the year.

Or maybe you just decide to enjoy the game in front of your new 80-inch flat screen TV. You aren’t alone. According to the American Time Use Survey, Americans spend, on average, 2.84 hours a day watching television in 2017. That’s almost enough time to watch your typical 9-inning baseball game.

Can we squeeze any more baseball out of BLS statistics? There’s wage data for ushers, occupational injuries for umpires, and productivity in certain recreation industries. But we’ll save that for another day. For now, sit back and enjoy the game. Play Ball!

Employment in spectator sports by metropolitan area, 2018
Metropolitan areaEmployment
Abilene, TX14
Akron, OH215
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY537
Albuquerque, NM241
Anchorage, AK204
Ann Arbor, MI84
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA1,948
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC314
Austin-Round Rock, TX1,071
Bakersfield, CA229
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD1,872
Bangor, ME32
Barnstable Town, MA9
Baton Rouge, LA15
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX5
Billings, MT78
Birmingham-Hoover, AL372
Bloomington, IL54
Boulder, CO22
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT83
Burlington-South Burlington, VT92
Canton-Massillon, OH13
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL718
Charleston, WV118
Charleston-North Charleston, SC256
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC6,081
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI4,763
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN1,473
Cleveland-Elyria, OH2,019
Coeur d’Alene, ID36
College Station-Bryan, TX20
Colorado Springs, CO214
Columbia, SC383
Columbus, OH813
Corpus Christi, TX153
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX3,392
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL1,294
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO999
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA375
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI1,682
Dover, DE222
Dubuque, IA72
Duluth, MN-WI75
El Paso, TX269
Erie, PA105
Eugene, OR67
Evansville, IN-KY209
Fairbanks, AK29
Flint, MI6
Florence, SC43
Fort Collins, CO4
Fresno, CA542
Grand Junction, CO67
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI234
Great Falls, MT72
Greeley, CO96
Greenville, NC54
Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin, SC234
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS121
Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV21
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA316
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT233
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC111
Hot Springs, AR665
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX2,968
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH27
Huntsville, AL47
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN2,786
Jacksonville, FL1,397
Janesville-Beloit, WI52
Joplin, MO11
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI3
Kansas City, MO-KS1,737
Kennewick-Richland, WA84
Lake Charles, LA11
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL387
Lancaster, PA160
Las Cruces, NM18
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV835
Lebanon, PA16
Lexington-Fayette, KY1,556
Lincoln, NE172
Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR148
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA7,100
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN1,337
Lubbock, TX12
Manchester-Nashua, NH144
Medford, OR23
Memphis, TN-MS-AR1,349
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL6,476
Midland, TX99
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI2,218
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI3,337
Missoula, MT20
Mobile, AL79
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC171
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL23
Nashville-Davidson–Murfreesboro–Franklin, TN721
New Orleans-Metairie, LA1,522
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA8,674
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL549
Norwich-New London, CT85
Ocala, FL490
Ogden-Clearfield, UT120
Oklahoma City, OK1,227
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA82
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL301
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ4,398
Pittsburgh, PA1,603
Pittsfield, MA21
Portland-South Portland, ME317
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA1,042
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA348
Raleigh, NC1,339
Reading, PA198
Richmond, VA381
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA688
Roanoke, VA98
Rochester, NY676
Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA957
Salem, OR56
Salisbury, MD-DE138
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX757
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA1,720
Santa Rosa, CA223
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA3,176
Sherman-Denison, TX6
Sioux Falls, SD138
Spartanburg, SC15
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA209
St. George, UT20
St. Joseph, MO-KS13
St. Louis, MO-IL1,608
State College, PA75
Stockton-Lodi, CA130
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL3,302
Trenton, NJ159
Tucson, AZ83
Tulsa, OK281
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC148
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV2,931
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA65
Watertown-Fort Drum, NY15
Wausau, WI34
Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH18
Wheeling, WV-OH47
Winston-Salem, NC414
Worcester, MA-CT97
Yakima, WA21
York-Hanover, PA156
Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA84
Yuba City, CA34
Employment in selected occupations in the spectator sports industry, May 2018
Security guards8,490
Food and beverage servers6,980
Parking lot attendants1,850