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News Release Information

Monday, May 20, 2024

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News — May 2023

Workers in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $28.86 in May 2023, 8 percent below the nationwide average of $31.48, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Alexandra Hall Bovee noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and management. Some groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including production.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Virginia Beach area employment was more highly concentrated in 11 of the 22 occupational groups, including business and financial operations, architecture and engineering, and food preparation and serving related. Eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management, office and administrative support, and transportation and material moving. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Virginia Beach metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2023
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Virginia Beach United States Virginia Beach Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 28.86* -8


6.9 5.1* 66.23 60.42* -9

Business and financial operations

6.6 7.8* 43.55 40.89* -6

Computer and mathematical

3.4 3.4 54.39 49.73* -9

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.7* 47.64 46.95 -1

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.9 42.24 40.66* -4

Community and social service

1.6 1.8* 28.36 26.85* -5


0.8 0.6* 64.34 51.79* -20

Educational instruction and library

5.8 6.1* 31.92 29.58* -7

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.1* 36.31 28.73* -21

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 6.0 49.07 47.94 -2

Healthcare support

4.7 4.0* 18.37 16.92* -8

Protective service

2.3 2.7* 27.74 24.91* -10

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.7* 16.58 15.73* -5

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.0* 18.43 16.39* -11

Personal care and service

2.0 2.4* 18.48 17.12* -7

Sales and related

8.8 9.4* 25.62 21.41* -16

Office and administrative support

12.2 11.2* 23.05 20.99* -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 19.22 20.47* 7

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.7* 29.57 25.39* -14

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.3* 28.13 26.52* -6


5.8 4.9* 22.90 25.09* 10

Transportation and material moving

9.1 8.1* 22.45 21.54* -4

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment 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. Virginia Beach had 57,140 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 7.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $40.89, significantly below the national wage of $43.55.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the business and financial operations group included project management specialists (6,670), accountants and auditors (6,640), and management analysts (6,430). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were personal financial advisors and project management specialists, with mean hourly wages of $73.49 and $52.15, respectively. (See chart 1.) At the lower end of the wage scale were credit counselors ($23.97) and meeting, convention, and event planners ($25.62). (Detailed data for the business and financial operations occupations 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 Virginia Beach area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, logisticians were employed at 2.6 times the national rate in Virginia Beach, and cost estimators, at 1.8 times the U.S. average. Compliance officers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Virginia Beach, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

The statistics in this release are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support. State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data: in this case, the Virginia Employment Commission, and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels; and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. Full OEWS data tables are available online.

Additional information about the OEWS estimates and methodology are available in the national Technical Notes. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.8 percent based on establishments and 64.3 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,352 establishments with a response rate of 47 percent.


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.

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 Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Currituck County, NC; Gates County, NC; Chesapeake city, VA; Gloucester County, VA; Hampton city, VA; Isle of Wight County, VA; James City County, VA; Mathews County, VA; Newport News city, VA; Norfolk city, VA; Poquoson city, VA; Portsmouth city, VA; Suffolk city, VA; Virginia Beach city, VA; Williamsburg city, VA; and York County, VA.


For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data, as well as general program documentation, are available on the OEWS website.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for business and financial operations occupations, Virginia Beach metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Business and financial operations occupations

57,140 1.2 40.89 85,060

Buyers and purchasing agents

4,150 1.8 37.77 78,560

Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

710 0.5 34.59 71,950

Compliance officers

1,830 1.0 33.67 70,040

Cost estimators

1,950 1.8 35.22 73,260

Human resources specialists

4,580 1.1 35.39 73,600

Labor relations specialists

200 0.7 48.31 100,490


2,850 2.6 40.99 85,260

Project management specialists

6,670 1.5 52.15 108,460

Management analysts

6,430 1.6 48.01 99,850

Meeting, convention, and event planners

540 0.9 25.62 53,280


430 0.9 29.63 61,630

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

490 1.0 33.69 70,070

Training and development specialists

2,430 1.2 31.45 65,420

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

2,640 0.6 34.19 71,120

Business operations specialists, all other

8,010 1.5 40.38 84,000

Accountants and auditors

6,640 1.0 38.12 79,290

Property appraisers and assessors

290 1.0 31.03 64,550

Budget analysts

370 1.6 41.13 85,550

Credit analysts

130 0.4 36.74 76,420

Financial and investment analysts

830 0.5 47.13 98,020

Personal financial advisors

880 0.7 73.49 152,850

Insurance underwriters

310 0.6 35.11 73,040

Financial risk specialists

190 0.7 48.42 100,720

Financial examiners

110 0.4 34.00 70,720

Credit counselors

180 1.3 23.97 49,860

Loan officers

1,350 0.9 47.86 99,540

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

210 0.9 28.55 59,390

Tax preparers

650 1.6 27.31 56,790

Financial specialists, all other

1,080 1.8 40.71 84,680

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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, May 20, 2024