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Thursday, September 28, 2017


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Cape Girardeau — May 2016

Workers in the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.63 in May 2016, about 22 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 19 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and management.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; production; and food preparation and serving related. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; and architecture and engineering. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Cape Girardeau United States Cape Girardeau Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $23.86 $18.63* -22


5.1 4.0* 56.74 43.52* -23

Business and financial operations

5.2 2.6* 36.09 28.13* -22

Computer and mathematical

3.0 1.1* 42.25 24.44* -42

Architecture and engineering

1.8 0.4* 40.53 29.97* -26

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.3* 35.06 (2)  

Community and social service

1.4 2.1* 22.69 18.43* -19


0.8 0.4* 50.95 29.97* -41

Education, training, and library

6.2 6.2 26.21 20.96* -20

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.2 28.07 20.17* -28

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 9.5* 38.06 32.72* -14

Healthcare support

2.9 3.5 14.65 13.75* -6

Protective service

2.4 1.3* 22.03 19.22* -13

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 10.6* 11.47 9.82* -14

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.4 13.47 11.78* -13

Personal care and service

3.2 4.0 12.74 10.74* -16

Sales and related

10.4 11.9 19.50 14.53* -25

Office and administrative support

15.7 15.0 17.91 14.86* -17

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 13.37 14.45 8

Construction and extraction

4.0 3.4* 23.51 20.06* -15

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.4 22.45 18.31* -18


6.5 8.1* 17.88 18.88 6

Transportation and material moving

6.9 6.4 17.34 14.57* -16

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released
* 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Cape Girardeau had 3,460 jobs in production occupations, accounting for 8.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.5-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.88, compared to the national wage of $17.88.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (180), team assemblers (170), and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (110). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers with mean hourly wages of $26.36. Occupations at the lower end of the wage scale included laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($10.09). (Detailed occupational data for production 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 Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the production group. For instance, laundry and dry-cleaning workers were employed at 1.8 times the national rate in Cape Girardeau. On the other hand, first-line supervisors of production and operating workers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Cape Girardeau, 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 Missouri Department of Economic Development.


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. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2016 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, and November 2013. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 73 percent based on establishments and 69 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area included 878 establishments with a response rate of 67 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2016 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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Cape Girardeau, Mo. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Alexander County of Illinois and Bollinger and Cape Girardeau Counties of Missouri.

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, Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

3,460 1.3 $18.88 $39,270

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

180 1.0 26.36 54,820

Team assemblers

170 0.5 13.59 28,260

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

50 0.8 15.12 31,450


120 1.0 18.58 38,640

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

60 1.3 13.94 28,990

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

110 0.9 15.80 32,870

Printing press operators

100 2.0 15.45 32,140

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

110 1.8 10.09 20,980

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

60 2.1 13.39 27,840

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

(5) (5) 15.44 32,110

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

100 2.6 (5) (5)

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

110 0.7 14.77 30,730

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

50 0.4 13.47 28,010

Helpers--production workers

(5) (5) 12.83 26,680

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Cape Girardeau Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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.
(5) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 28, 2017