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News Release Information

15-808-NEW
Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (646) 264-3620

Occupational Employment and Wages in the U.S. Virgin Islands – May 2014

Workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands had an average (mean) hourly wage of $16.81 in May 2014, about 26 percent below the United States average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective U.S. averages in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including life, physical, and social science; computer and mathematical; and sales and related.

When compared to the U.S. distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, protective service, and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their mainland representation, including production; healthcare practitioners and technical; and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational groupEmployment share (percent of total)Average (mean) hourly wage
United StatesVirgin IslandsUnited StatesVirgin IslandsPercent difference(1)

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0%$22.71$16.81*-26

Management

5.06.8*54.0833.10*-39

Business and financial operations

5.13.8*34.8124.18*-31

Computer and mathematical

2.81.0*40.3724.73*-39

Architecture and engineering

1.80.4*39.1927.03*-31

Life, physical, and social science

0.82.3*33.6914.02*-58

Community and social service

1.40.9*21.7918.97*-13

Legal

0.81.2*48.6142.39*-13

Education, training, and library

6.27.1*25.1018.91*-25

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.30.4*26.8220.29*-24

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.82.8*36.5427.07*-26

Healthcare support

2.91.1*13.8612.50*-10

Protective service

2.46.9*21.1415.98*-24

Food preparation and serving related

9.110.5*10.5710.732

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.25.7*12.6811.09*-13

Personal care and service

3.12.5*12.0110.58*-12

Sales and related

10.510.518.5912.81*-31

Office and administrative support

16.021.1*17.0815.07*-12

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.30.1*12.0912.181

Construction and extraction

3.93.1*22.4018.00*-20

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.94.221.7417.13*-21

Production

6.61.8*17.0613.78*-19

Transportation and material moving

6.85.7*16.5713.48*-19

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the U.S. Virgin Islands is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
 

Note: * 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—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. The Virgin Islands had 8,040 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 21.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 16.0-percent U.S. share. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.07, significantly lower than the U.S. wage of $17.08.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included general office clerks (1,310); secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (960); and first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers (720). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, with a mean hourly wage of $24.15, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with a wage of $21.26. At the lower end of the wage scale were stock clerks and order fillers ($11.68) and reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks ($12.06). (Detailed occupational data for office and administrative support are presented in table 1 ; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_vi.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 U.S. 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 in the U.S. In the Virgin Islands, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks were employed at 5.5 times the U.S. rate in the Virgin Islands. On the other hand, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in the Virgin Islands, indicating that this particular occupation’s Virgin Islands and U.S. 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 U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Labor.

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.


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. 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. 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 weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 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 Virgin Islands included 806 establishments with a response rate of 87 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.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey. 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/2014/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: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, the U.S. Virgin Islands, May 2014
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages
Level(2)Location quotient(3)HourlyAnnual(4)

Office and administrative support occupations

8,0401.32$15.07$31,350

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

7201.8324.1550,240

Switchboard operators, including answering service

1304.3011.4923,910

Bill and account collectors

700.6815.7832,830

Billing and posting clerks

1200.9014.9631,110

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

4300.9615.6732,590

Payroll and timekeeping clerks

501.1616.2533,810

Customer service representatives

8301.1813.8628,830

File clerks

601.3712.1025,180

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

1402.0511.8524,650

Loan interviewers and clerks

300.5220.0541,700

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

601.5417.2435,860

Receptionists and information clerks

2700.9712.8326,680

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

2205.5412.0625,090

Cargo and freight agents

1004.7115.1231,440

Couriers and messengers

703.2512.1225,200

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

300.6214.4630,070

Postal service clerks

904.2526.8155,770

Postal service mail carriers

400.4326.1454,370

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

401.2624.5351,010

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

1300.7216.2033,690

Stock clerks and order fillers

9401.7811.6824,290

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

2701.3221.2644,220

Legal secretaries

500.8921.4844,670

Medical secretaries

900.6018.2437,930

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

9601.5414.1429,410

Data entry keyers

1101.9212.5726,150

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

400.57(5)(5)

Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

401.4214.2929,720

Office clerks, general

1,3101.6112.2025,370

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, see https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_vi.htm.
(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) Estimates not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2015