Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Workers in the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.02 in May 2015, nearly identical to the nationwide average of $23.23, 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 12 of the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction; life, physical, and social science; and education, training, and library. Four other occupational groups had average wages that were measurably higher than their respective national averages; included in this grouping were production and sales and related occupations.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Richmond employment shares were significantly higher in 10 of the 22 occupational groups including business and financial operations and office and administrative support. Conversely, eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included production; food preparation and serving related; and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Richmond||United States||Richmond||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.
One occupational group—business and financial operations—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Richmond had 44,740 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 7.2 percent of local area employment, significantly above the national share of 5.1 percent. The average hourly wage for this occupational group was $34.88, similar to the national average of $35.48.
Some of the larger detailed occupations within the business and financial group include accountants and auditors (6,890), management analysts (6,580), and human resource specialists (3,120). Among the higher paying jobs were personal financial advisors and financial analysts, with mean hourly wages of $58.39 and $44.40, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were tax preparers ($19.95) and tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents ($24.31). (Detailed occupational data for the business and financial operations group are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40060.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 than it does nationally. In the Richmond metropolitan area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the detailed occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were employed at 2.5 the national rate in Richmond, and financial examiners, at 3.3 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, fundraisers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Richmond, meaning the local employment share in this particular occupation was comparable to the national average.
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.
With the issuance of data for May 2015, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area definitions as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. OES data are available for 394 metropolitan areas, 38 metropolitan divisions, and 167 OES-defined nonmetropolitan areas. A listing of the areas and their definitions can be found at www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.
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. The OES program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations for all industries combined in the nation; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; 432 metropolitan areas and divisions; 167 nonmetropolitan areas; and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. National estimates are also available by industry for NAICS sectors, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industries, and by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.
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. May 2015 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 73.5 percent based on establishments and 69.6 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.9 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,074 establishments with a response rate of 67 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The May 2015 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.
Metropolitan area definitions
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Richmond, Va. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, King William, New Kent, Powhatan, Prince George, and Sussex Counties and Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Richmond cities.
OES data are available on our regional web page at 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: (800) 877-8339.
|Occupation (1)||Employment (2)||Mean wage|
|Level||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual (4)|
Business and Financial Operations Occupations
Wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products
Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail, and farm products
Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators
Insurance appraisers, auto damage
Human resources specialists
Labor relations specialists
Meeting, convention, and event planners
Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists
Training and development specialists
Market research analysts and marketing specialists
Business operations specialists, all other
Accountants and auditors
Appraisers and assessors of real estate
Personal financial advisors
Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents
Financial specialists, all other
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 01, 2016