Bureau of Labor Statistics

Office and administrative support occupations make up nearly 16 percent of U.S. employment, May 2013

April 09, 2014

In May 2013, office and administrative support was the largest occupational group, making up nearly 16 percent of total U.S. employment. The next largest groups were sales and related occupations and food preparation and serving related occupations, which made up about 11 and 9 percent, respectively. Seven of the 10 largest occupations were in one of these three groups.

View Chart Data

Percent of total employment and annual mean wage, by major occupational group, May 2013
Occupational groupPercent of total
U.S. employment
Annual mean wagePercent employed
in private sector

Office and Administrative Support  

16.2$34,90084.9

Sales and Related  

10.638,20099.4

Food Preparation and Serving Related  

9.021,58095.4

Transportation and Material Moving  

6.833,86092.9

Production  

6.634,93097.9

Education, Training, and Library  

6.351,50024.0

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical  

5.874,74085.0

Business and Financial Operations  

5.071,02082.4

Management  

4.9110,55084.6

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair  

3.944,42089.6

Construction and Extraction  

3.845,63090.6

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance  

3.226,01083.1

Personal Care and Service  

3.024,71088.3

Healthcare Support  

3.028,30092.4

Computer and Mathematical  

2.882,01088.9

Protective Service  

2.543,51037.8

Architecture and Engineering  

1.880,10087.2

Community and Social Service  

1.444,71061.9

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media  

1.355,58089.0

Life, Physical, and Social Science  

0.969,40060.6

Legal  

0.899,62074.6

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry  

0.324,33094.2
Management occupationsLegal occupationsArchitecture and engineering occupationsComputer and mathematical occupationsHealthcare practitioners, and technical occupationsLife, physical, and social science occupationsArts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupationsBusiness and financial operations occupationsProtective service occupationsConstruction and extraction occupationsCommunity and social service occupationsInstallation, maintenance, and repair occupationsEducation, training, and library occupationsOffice and administrative support occupationsSales and related occupationsFood preparation and service related occupationsProduction occupationsTransportation and material moving occupationsHealthcare support occupationsBuilding and grounds cleaning and maintenance occupationsPersonal care and service occupationsFarming, fishing, and forestry occupations


The smallest occupational groups included legal occupations and life, physical, and social science occupations, each making up less than 1 percent of total employment in May 2013.

The highest-paying occupational groups were management, legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering occupations. Most detailed occupations in these groups were also high paying. For example, all 19 computer and mathematical occupations had average wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean of $46,440, ranging from $50,450 for computer user support specialists to $109,260 for computer and information research scientists.

The lowest-paying occupational groups were food preparation and serving related; farming, fishing, and forestry; personal care and service; building and grounds cleaning and maintenance; and healthcare support occupations. Annual mean wages for these groups ranged from $21,580 for food preparation and serving related occupations to $28,300 for healthcare support occupations. With few exceptions, the detailed occupations in these groups had below-average wages. For example, occupational therapy assistants and physical therapy assistants were the only healthcare support occupations with mean wages above the U.S. all-occupations mean.

Among 665,850 employed persons in the District of Columbia in May 2013, there were about 3,370 political scientists—accounting for 50.6 out of every 10,000 jobs in the District of Columbia. In all of the United States there were 5,570 political scientists employed out of a total of 132,588,810 employed people—meaning less than 1 (0.42) out of every 10,000 jobs in America were political scientists. The ratio that compares the concentration of employment in a defined area (in this case, the District of Columbia) to that of a larger area (the United States) is referred to by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the "location quotient."

Washington: Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers Oregon: Logging workers, all other California: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse Idaho: Forest and conservation technicians Nevada: Gaming supervisors Montana: Forest and conservation technicians Wyoming: Wellhead pumpers Utah: Mine cutting and channeling machine operators Arizona: Plasterers and stucco masons Colorado: Atmospheric and space scientists New Mexico: Physical scientists, all other North Dakota: Extraction workers, all other South Dakota: Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation Nebraska: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers Kansas: Agricultural equipment operators Oklahoma: Gaming managers Texas: Petroleum engineers Louisiana: Riggers Arkansas: Shoe machine operators and tenders Missouri: Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other Iowa: Soil and plant scientists Minnesota: Food scientists and technologists Alaska: Zoologists and wildlife biologists Hawaii: Dancers Kentucky: Roof bolters, mining Tennessee: Nuclear technicians Mississippi: Upholsterers Alabama: Layout workers, metal and plastic Florida: Motorboat operators Georgia: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders South Carolina: Tire builders North Carolina: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders Virginia: Legal support workers, all other District of Columbia: Political scientists West Virginia: Mine shuttle car operator Maryland: Subway and streetcar operators Delaware: Chemists Wisconsin: Foundry mold and coremakers Illinois: Rail transportation workers, all other Michigan: Model makers, metal and plastic Indiana: Boilermakers Ohio: Foundry mold and coremakers Pennsylvania: Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators New Jersey: Marriage and family therapists New York: Fashion designers Connecticut: Actuaries Rhode Island: Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers Massachusetts: Biochemists and biophysicists Vermont: Highway maintenance workers New Hampshire: Metal workers and plastic workers, all other Maine: Logging equipment operators

Occupations with the highest relative concentration (location quotient) among those with employment of 500 or more, by state, May 2013 Washington: Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers Oregon: Logging workers, all other California: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse Idaho: Forest and conservation technicians Nevada: Gaming supervisors Montana: Forest and conservation technicians Wyoming: Wellhead pumpers Utah: Mine cutting and channeling machine operators Arizona: Plasterers and stucco masons Colorado: Atmospheric and space scientists New Mexico: Physical scientists, all other North Dakota: Extraction workers, all other South Dakota: Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation Nebraska: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers Kansas: Agricultural equipment operators Oklahoma: Gaming managers Texas: Petroleum engineers Louisiana: Riggers Arkansas: Shoe machine operators and tenders Missouri: Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other Iowa: Soil and plant scientists Minnesota: Food scientists and technologists Alaska: Zoologists and wildlife biologists Hawaii: Dancers Kentucky: Roof bolters, mining Tennessee: Nuclear technicians Mississippi: Upholsterers Alabama: Layout workers, metal and plastic Florida: Motorboat operators Georgia: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders South Carolina: Tire builders North Carolina: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders Virginia: Legal support workers, all other District of Columbia: Political scientists West Virginia: Mine shuttle car operator Maryland: Subway and streetcar operators Delaware: Chemists Wisconsin: Foundry mold and coremakers Illinois: Rail transportation workers, all other Michigan: Model makers, metal and plastic Indiana: Boilermakers Ohio: Foundry mold and coremakers Pennsylvania: Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators New Jersey: Marriage and family therapists New York: Fashion designers Connecticut: Actuaries Rhode Island: Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers Massachusetts: Biochemists and biophysicists Vermont: Highway maintenance workers New Hampshire: Metal workers and plastic workers, all other Maine: Logging equipment operators

Washington: Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers Oregon: Logging workers, all other California: Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse Idaho: Forest and conservation technicians Nevada: Gaming supervisors Montana: Forest and conservation technicians Wyoming: Wellhead pumpers Utah: Mine cutting and channeling machine operators Arizona: Plasterers and stucco masons Colorado: Atmospheric and space scientists New Mexico: Physical scientists, all other North Dakota: Extraction workers, all other South Dakota: Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation Nebraska: Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers Kansas: Agricultural equipment operators Oklahoma: Gaming managers Texas: Petroleum engineers Louisiana: Riggers Arkansas: Shoe machine operators and tenders Missouri: Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other Iowa: Soil and plant scientists Minnesota: Food scientists and technologists Alaska: Zoologists and wildlife biologists Hawaii: Dancers Kentucky: Roof bolters, mining Tennessee: Nuclear technicians Mississippi: Upholsterers Alabama: Layout workers, metal and plastic Florida: Motorboat operators Georgia: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders South Carolina: Tire builders North Carolina: Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders Virginia: Legal support workers, all other District of Columbia: Political scientists West Virginia: Mine shuttle car operator Maryland: Subway and streetcar operators Delaware: Chemists Wisconsin: Foundry mold and coremakers Illinois: Rail transportation workers, all other Michigan: Model makers, metal and plastic Indiana: Boilermakers Ohio: Foundry mold and coremakers Pennsylvania: Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators New Jersey: Marriage and family therapists New York: Fashion designers Connecticut: Actuaries Rhode Island: Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers Massachusetts: Biochemists and biophysicists Vermont: Highway maintenance workers New Hampshire: Metal workers and plastic workers, all other Maine: Logging equipment operators

The location quotient of political scientists in the District of Columbia is 50.6 divided by 0.42 (the location quotient of political scientists in the United States), which equals about 120.5—indicating there are about 120.5 times as many political scientists per 10,000 total employed people in the District of Columbia as in the United States as a whole.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see, "Occupational Employment and Wages — May 2013" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-14-0528.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Office and administrative support occupations make up nearly 16 percent of U.S. employment, May 2013 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140409.htm (visited July 13, 2020).

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