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News Release Information

16-1461-ATL
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

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  • (404) 893-4220

Occupational Employment and Wages in Durham-Chapel Hill — May 2015

Workers in the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.39 in May 2015, about 18 percent above the nationwide average of $23.23, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 9 of the 22 major occupational groups, including education, training, and library; management; and sales and related. Eight groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; construction and extraction; and transportation and material moving. 

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; computer and mathematical; and business and financial operations. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; production; and construction and extraction. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2015
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesDurhamUnited StatesDurhamPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0%$23.23$27.39*18

Management

5.05.7*55.3062.89*14

Business and Financial Operations

5.16.6*35.4837.38*5

Computer and Mathematical

2.95.9*41.4344.02*6

Architecture and Engineering

1.82.2*39.8939.48-1

Life, Physical, and Social Science

0.83.2*34.2437.36*9

Community and Social Services

1.41.2*22.1922.913

Legal

0.80.6*49.7438.04*-24

Education, Training, and Library

6.29.1*25.4836.68*44

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

1.31.327.3927.902

Healthcare Practitioner and Technical

5.89.9*37.4034.43*-8

Healthcare Support

2.93.8*14.1912.86*-9

Protective Service

2.41.5*21.4518.49*-14

Food Preparation and Serving Related

9.18.2*10.9810.59*-4

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance

3.22.4*13.0211.93*-8

Personal Care and Service

3.12.0*12.3313.16*7

Sales and Related

10.58.5*18.9021.34*13

Office and Administrative Support

15.814.3*17.4718.07*3

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

0.30.1*12.6713.9310

Construction and Extraction

4.02.0*22.8818.50*-19

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

3.92.9*22.1123.19*5

Production

6.64.5*17.4118.144

Transportation and Material Moving

6.93.9*16.9014.60*-14

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Durham-Chapel Hill is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* 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—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Durham-Chapel Hill had 28,600 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 9.9 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $34.43, significantly below the national wage of $37.40.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (12,650), medical and clinical laboratory technologists (1,130), and pharmacy technicians (980). Among the higher paying jobs were general pediatricians and nurse anesthetists, with mean hourly wages of $75.72 and $70.30, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($15.37) and medial records and health information technicians ($18.33). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_20500.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 Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, nurse anesthetists were employed at 3.6 times the national rate in Durham, and medical and clinical laboratory technologists, at 3.3 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, speech-language pathologists had a location quotient of 1.1 in Durham, 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 North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

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.


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 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 Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,261 establishments with a response rate of 85 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 Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Person Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southeast. 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.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2015
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

28,6001.7$34.43$71,610

Dentists, General

1200.685.35177,520

Dietitians and Nutritionists

2502.028.0658,360

Optometrists

700.938.2779,600

Pharmacists

9201.558.03120,710

Family and General Practitioners

700.368.34142,140

Pediatricians, General

(5)(5)75.72157,500

Psychiatrists

(5)(5)110.22229,260

Surgeons

500.6108.03224,690

Physicians and Surgeons, All Other

2,2303.354.86114,110

Physician Assistants

4102.045.1193,830

Occupational Therapists

3201.434.7672,310

Physical Therapists

5701.336.3875,670

Radiation Therapists

802.337.5978,180

Recreational Therapists

601.723.7749,430

Respiratory Therapists

4601.826.1854,450

Speech-Language Pathologists

3001.131.3365,170

Veterinarians

2001.456.30117,110

Registered Nurses

12,6502.231.4365,380

Nurse Anesthetists

2903.670.30146,220

Nurse Practitioners

8002.857.33119,240

Audiologists

301.332.8368,290

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other

3104.244.8993,370

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

1,1303.327.6657,530

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

7102.219.4840,530

Dental Hygienists

3000.735.3673,540

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

2001.926.8755,880

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

1801.433.2069,050

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

601.534.5171,770

Radiologic Technologists

6601.630.2662,930

Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists

1001.434.5371,820

Pharmacy Technicians

9801.215.3731,960

Surgical Technologists

2501.221.2844,260

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

2201.114.6530,480

Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

1001.219.7141,000

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

8000.621.9445,640

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

3000.818.3338,120

Opticians, Dispensing

1300.922.5746,940

Orthotists and Prosthetists

402.634.3371,410

Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other

1,0905.020.1641,930

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

1501.034.0870,890

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

601.730.3963,210

Genetic Counselors

407.529.8662,110

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other

600.725.3152,640

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Durham-Chapel Hill, NC, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_20500.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) Estimate not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 20, 2016