Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

17-848-ATL
Friday, June 16, 2017

Contacts

Technical information:
Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

Occupational Employment and Wages in Knoxville – May 2016

Workers in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.45 in May 2016, about 14 percent below 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 lower than their respective averages in 19 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; community and social service; and healthcare practitioners and technical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving; healthcare practitioners and technical; and office and administrative support. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; education, training, and library; 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 Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesKnoxvilleUnited StatesKnoxvillePercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0$23.86$20.45*-14

Management

5.15.7*56.7446.37*-18

Business and financial operations

5.23.9*36.0930.13*-17

Computer and mathematical

3.01.9*42.2533.37*-21

Architecture and engineering

1.82.1*40.5340.811

Life, physical, and social science

0.80.835.0631.71*-10

Community and social service

1.41.1*22.6917.97*-21

Legal

0.80.5*50.9547.27-7

Education, training, and library

6.25.1*26.2122.17*-15

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.41.0*28.0721.68*-23

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.96.9*38.0630.98*-19

Healthcare support

2.92.6*14.6513.47*-8

Protective service

2.42.222.0319.03*-14

Food preparation and serving related

9.29.311.479.91*-14

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.23.7*13.4711.92*-12

Personal care and service

3.22.7*12.7410.97*-14

Sales and related

10.410.519.5016.42*-16

Office and administrative support

15.716.7*17.9116.29*-9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3(2)13.3713.763

Construction and extraction

4.03.5*23.5119.67*-16

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.94.5*22.4520.41*-9

Production

6.57.1*17.8816.85*-6

Transportation and material moving

6.98.0*17.3415.58*-10

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Knoxville 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—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Knoxville had 30,470 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.58, significantly below the national wage of $17.34.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (8,810), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (8,110), and hand packers and packagers (2,250). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, with mean hourly wages of $25.99 and $20.68, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were parking lot attendants ($9.06) and hand packers and packagers ($9.83). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28940.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 Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers were employed at 1.8 times the national rate in Knoxville, and first-line supervisors of helpers, hand laborers, and material movers, at 1.5 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, transit and intercity bus drivers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Knoxville, 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 Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

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 Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,070 establishments with a response rate of 71 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 Knoxville, Tenn. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Union 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, Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Transportation and material moving occupations

30,4701.2$15.58$32,400

First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand

7201.522.0245,800

First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

4600.825.9954,050

Commercial pilots

400.3(5)90,150

Bus drivers, transit and intercity

4601.016.8134,970

Bus drivers, school or special client

1,0500.811.6924,320

Driver/sales workers

2,1501.911.1323,140

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

8,1101.820.6843,020

Light truck or delivery services drivers

1,7700.817.9137,260

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

3600.710.1121,020

Motor vehicle operators, all other

2301.611.3423,580

Parking lot attendants

2000.59.0618,850

Automotive and watercraft service attendants

5001.710.0420,890

Traffic technicians

704.119.8241,220

Transportation attendants, except flight attendants

(6)(6)10.9922,860

Transportation workers, all other

400.419.4340,420

Conveyor operators and tenders

700.924.7951,570

Crane and tower operators

1201.022.4846,760

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

2602.016.7934,920

Industrial truck and tractor operators

1,2200.813.9529,020

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

9501.011.6324,180

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

8,8101.313.1627,370

Machine feeders and offbearers

(6)(6)12.9827,010

Packers and packagers, hand

2,2501.29.8320,440

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

2500.812.6626,340

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Knoxville, TN Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_28940.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) 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.
(6) Estimate not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Friday, June 16, 2017