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Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Workers in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.64 in May 2013, 10 percent above the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 16 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management, construction and extraction, and legal. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington||United States||Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington||Percent difference(1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social service
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioners and technical
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.|
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Philadelphia employment was more highly concentrated in 10 of the 22 occupational groups including office and administrative support, business and financial operations, and healthcare support. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included production, food preparation and serving related, and construction and extraction.
One occupational group—life, physical, and social science—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Philadelphia had 33,840 jobs in the life, physical, and social science group, accounting for 1.3 percent of local area employment, significantly larger than the 0.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $35.92, significantly higher than the national average of $33.37.
With employment of 7,610, chemists was the largest occupation within life, physical, and social science followed by medical scientists, except epidemiologists (4,570). Among the higher-paying jobs were physicists with a mean hourly wages of $55.61 and biochemists and biophysicists with a wage of $49.05. At the lower end of the wage scale were survey researchers ($17.18) and environmental science and protection technicians, including health ($18.54). (Detailed occupational data for life, physical, and social science are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_37980.htm.)
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 as it does nationally. In the Philadelphia area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within life, physical, and social science. For instance, survey researchers were employed at over five-and-a-half times the national rate in Philadelphia, and chemists at over four times the U.S. average. On the other hand, social science research assistants had a location quotient of 1.0 in Philadelphia, 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 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry; the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development; the Delaware Department of Labor; and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 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.
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 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area included 15,490 establishments with a response rate of 76 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 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. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, respectively.
The May 2013 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem Counties in New Jersey; New Castle County in Delaware; and Cecil County in Maryland.
OES data are available on our regional web page at https://www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/methods_statement.pdf. 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.
Life, physical, and social science occupations
Food scientists and technologists
Soil and plant scientists
Biochemists and biophysicists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists
Biological scientists, all other
Medical scientists, except epidemiologists
Life scientists, all other
Atmospheric and space scientists
Environmental scientists and specialists, including health
Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers
Physical scientists, all other
Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists
Psychologists, all other
Urban and regional planners
Social scientists and related workers, all other
Agricultural and food science technicians
Geological and petroleum technicians
Social science research assistants
Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
Forensic science technicians
Life, physical, and social science technicians, all other
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014