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News Release Information

Monday, June 03, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Atlantic City-Hammonton, May 2012

Workers in the Atlantic City-Hammonton Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.65 in May 2012, about 6 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 11 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal, construction and extraction, and healthcare practitioners and technical. Four groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including sales and related, business and financial operations, and management.

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Atlantic City-Hammonton Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesAtlantic CityUnited StatesAtlantic CityPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations




Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social services




Education, training, and library*12

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioner and technical*14

Healthcare support

Protective service


Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry


Construction and extraction


Installation, maintenance, and repair




Transportation and material moving


* 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 Atlantic City is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including food preparation and serving related, personal care and service, and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, office and administrative support, and transportation and material moving. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

One occupational group—food preparation and serving related—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Atlantic City-Hammonton had 20,690 jobs in food preparation and serving related, accounting for 15.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 8.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $11.55, measurably above the national wage of $10.28.

With employment of 6,420, waiters and waitresses was the largest occupation within the food preparation and serving related group, followed by cooks, restaurant (2,100) and combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food (1,930). Among the higher paying jobs were chefs and head cooks and first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers, with mean hourly wages of $27.96 and $19.85, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food ($9.23) and counter attendants, cafeteria, food concession, and coffee shop ($8.94). (Detailed occupational data for food preparation and serving related are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available 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 Atlantic City-Hammonton Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the food preparation and serving related group. For instance, dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers were employed at 3.7 times the national rate in Atlantic City, and bartenders, at 3.4 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, first-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers had a location quotient of 1.4 in Atlantic City, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were closer.

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 Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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 Atlantic City 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 Atlantic City-Hammonton Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,434 establishments with a response rate of 81 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

Area definition

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Atlantic City-Hammonton, N.J.Metropolitan Statistical Area consists of Atlantic County.

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: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Atlantic City-Hammonton Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual(4)

Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations


Chefs and Head Cooks


First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers


Cooks, Fast Food


Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria


Cooks, Restaurant


Cooks, Short Order


Food Preparation Workers




Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food


Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop


Waiters and Waitresses


Food Servers, Nonrestaurant


Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers




Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop


Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers, All Other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ, 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: Monday, June 03, 2013