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News Release Information

17-799-ATL
Thursday, June 15, 2017

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Technical information:
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  • (404) 893-4220

Occupational Employment and Wages in Durham-Chapel Hill – May 2016

Workers in the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.81 in May 2016, about 17 percent above the nationwide average of $23.86, 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 5 of the 22 major occupational groups, including education, training, and library; management; and life, physical, and social science. Seven groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including construction and extraction; transportation and material moving; and healthcare support.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; education, training, and library; and computer and mathematical. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; sales and related; and office and administrative support. (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 2016
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesDurhamUnited StatesDurhamPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0$23.86$27.81*17

Management

5.15.8*56.7465.68*16

Business and financial operations

5.27.0*36.0936.140

Computer and mathematical

3.05.9*42.2543.012

Architecture and engineering

1.82.0*40.5339.28-3

Life, physical, and social science

0.83.0*35.0638.48*10

Community and social service

1.41.522.6922.680

Legal

0.80.5*50.9547.20-7

Education, training, and library

6.210.0*26.2137.37*43

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.41.428.0727.31-3

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.910.0*38.0634.91*-8

Healthcare support

2.93.8*14.6513.31*-9

Protective service

2.41.7*22.0319.12*-13

Food preparation and serving related

9.28.5*11.4711.03*-4

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.22.6*13.4712.23*-9

Personal care and service

3.22.0*12.7413.48*6

Sales and related

10.47.7*19.5020.093

Office and administrative support

15.713.5*17.9118.34*2

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.30.1*13.3714.619

Construction and extraction

4.02.0*23.5119.18*-18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.92.8*22.4522.15-1

Production

6.54.5*17.8818.886

Transportation and material moving

6.93.7*17.3414.70*-15

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area 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 29,160 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 10.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $34.91, significantly below the national wage of $38.06.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (13,070), medical and clinical laboratory technologists (1,280), and pharmacy technicians (1,180). Among the higher paying jobs were general pediatricians and nurse anesthetists, with mean hourly wages of $82.54 and $72.93, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($15.08) and emergency medical technicians and paramedics ($18.02). (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, medical and clinical laboratory technologists were employed at 3.7 times the national rate in Durham, and nurse practitioners, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, speech-language pathologists had a location quotient of 1.0 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.

Note on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

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 www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

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 Durham-Chapel Hill Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,279 establishments with a response rate of 84 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

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 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 2016
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

29,1601.7$34.91$72,610

Dentists, general

900.4122.16254,100

Dietitians and nutritionists

2602.028.5859,450

Optometrists

300.565.71136,680

Pharmacists

9301.559.03122,790

Family and general practitioners

700.366.10137,480

Pediatricians, general

(5)(5)82.54171,690

Physicians and surgeons, all other

2,2903.255.33115,080

Physician assistants

4602.144.8293,230

Occupational therapists

2801.237.7678,550

Physical therapists

6101.338.7080,500

Radiation therapists

802.337.5278,050

Recreational therapists

401.225.2852,580

Respiratory therapists

4601.726.3654,830

Speech-language pathologists

2701.036.5976,100

Veterinarians

2001.458.09120,830

Registered nurses

13,0702.232.0066,550

Nurse anesthetists

2903.572.93151,700

Nurse practitioners

8502.756.22116,930

Audiologists

301.233.1368,920

Health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other

2703.548.25100,350

Medical and clinical laboratory technologists

1,2803.727.7057,610

Medical and clinical laboratory technicians

7502.319.2039,930

Dental hygienists

(5)(5)34.4371,620

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

2101.927.3156,810

Diagnostic medical sonographers

1701.333.7770,230

Nuclear medicine technologists

601.535.2873,390

Radiologic technologists

7601.830.1162,620

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

1001.334.4071,550

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

4000.818.0237,480

Pharmacy technicians

1,1801.415.0831,360

Surgical technologists

2501.222.1546,070

Veterinary technologists and technicians

1300.617.4936,370

Ophthalmic medical technicians

1201.320.0941,790

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

8600.622.1346,040

Medical records and health information technicians

3600.918.2037,850

Opticians, dispensing

900.620.0141,630

Orthotists and prosthetists

(5)(5)36.1775,230

Health technologists and technicians, all other

6102.420.7543,150

Occupational health and safety specialists

1801.140.5384,310

Occupational health and safety technicians

501.527.7657,740

Athletic trainers

300.7(6)52,670

Genetic counselors

407.330.9664,390

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

901.324.8951,780

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Durham-Chapel Hill, NC Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017