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Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Workers in the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.20 in May 2014, 11 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, 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 lower than their respective national averages in 17 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Roanoke employment shares were significantly higher in 4 of the 22 occupational groups including health care practitioners and technical and office and administrative support. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included management, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, and computer and mathematical.
|Major occupational group||Employment share (percent of total)||Average (mean) hourly wage|
|United States||Roanoke||Significant difference (1)||United States||Roanoke||Significant difference (1)||Percent difference (2)|
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
One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Roanoke had 12,350 jobs in the healthcare practitioners and technical group, accounting for 8.2 percent of local area employment, significantly larger than the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $36.26, not significantly different from the national average of $36.54.
With employment of 4,150, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (1,340). Among the higher-paying jobs were surgeons with a mean hourly wage of $94.20 and pharmacists with a wage of $60.30. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($14.07) and medical records and health information technicians ($17.46). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare and practitioners are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40220.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 Roanoke area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, surgeons were employed at over two-and-a-half times the national rate in Roanoke, and general internists at over three times the U.S. average. On the other hand, veterinary technologists and technicians had a location quotient of 1.0 in Roanoke, 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 Virginia Employment Commission.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Roanoke 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 Each year, forms are mailed to two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments, one panel in May and the other in November. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on employment. The sample in the Roanoke Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,841 establishments with a response rate of 73 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 2014 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 Roanoke, Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke Counties and Roanoke and Salem Cities in Virginia.
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/current/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.
|Occupation (1)||Employment (2)||Mean wage|
|Level||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual (4)|
Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations
Dietitians and nutritionists
Family and general practitioners
Obstetricians and gynecologists
Physicians and surgeons, all other
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists
Medical and clinical laboratory technicians
Cardiovascular technologists and technicians
Diagnostic medical sonographers
Nuclear medicine technologists
Magnetic resonance image technologists
Veterinary technologists and technicians
Ophthalmic medical technicians
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses
Medical records and health information technicians
Health technolgists and technicians, all other
Occupational health and safety specialists
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015