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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.

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
Occupations with the highest relative concentration (location quotient) among those with employment of 500 or more, by state, May 2013
State Occupation Location quotient Employment

Alabama

Layout workers, metal and plastic 9.05 1,690

Alaska

Zoologists and wildlife biologists 18.65 840

Arizona

Plasterers and stucco masons 4.37 1,680

Arkansas

Shoe machine operators and tenders 13.35 500

California

Farmworkers and laborers, crop, nursery, and greenhouse 5.89 171,160

Colorado

Atmospheric and space scientists 9.65 1,800

Connecticut

Actuaries 5.17 1,280

Delaware

Chemists 12.70 3,460

District of Columbia

Political scientists 120.46 3,370

Florida

Motorboat operators 8.30 1,590

Georgia

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders 10.49 7,990

Hawaii

Dancers 12.83 670

Idaho

Forest and conservation technicians 15.58 2,140

Illinois

Rail transportation workers, all other 5.67 870

Indiana

Boilermakers 6.39 2,190

Iowa

Soil and plant scientists 12.81 1,900

Kansas

Agricultural equipment operators 5.41 1,240

Kentucky

Roof bolters, mining 14.14 1,120

Louisiana

Riggers 19.95 4,920

Maine

Logging equipment operators 11.15 1,200

Maryland

Subway and streetcar operators 12.02 2,050

Massachusetts

Biochemists and biophysicists 5.38 3,850

Michigan

Model makers, metal and plastic 6.12 1,140

Minnesota

Food scientists and technologists 6.78 2,060

Mississippi

Upholsterers 16.76 3,940

Missouri

Entertainment attendants and related workers, all other 3.91 750

Montana

Forest and conservation technicians 20.73 2,040

Nebraska

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers 10.33 11,620

Nevada

Gaming supervisors 31.98 6,990

New Hampshire

Metal workers and plastic workers, all other 11.80 1,230

New Jersey

Marriage and family therapists 4.98 4,170

New Mexico

Physical scientists, all other 12.03 1,660

New York

Fashion designers 6.34 7,180

North Carolina

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders 8.88 6,880

North Dakota

Extraction workers, all other 35.75 910

Ohio

Foundry mold and coremakers 3.54 1,790

Oklahoma

Gaming managers 12.74 670

Oregon

Logging workers, all other 40.15 1,390

Pennsylvania

Gas compressor and gas pumping station operators 4.66 890

Rhode Island

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers 7.05 560

South Carolina

Tire builders 11.80 2,860

South Dakota

Pesticide handlers, sprayers, and applicators, vegetation 9.44 650

Tennessee

Nuclear technicians 4.94 700

Texas

Petroleum engineers 6.84 19,660

Utah

Mine cutting and channeling machine operators 8.36 540

Vermont

Highway maintenance workers 4.76 1,490

Virginia

Legal support workers, all other 7.15 8,950

Washington

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers 15.68 14,310

West Virginia

Mine shuttle car operator 76.87 1,120

Wisconsin

Foundry mold and coremakers 6.26 1,670

Wyoming

Wellhead pumpers 24.75 700
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 10, 2020).

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