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News Release Information

18-669-ATL
Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Contacts

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Knoxville – May 2017

Workers in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.08 in May 2017, about 13 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 17 groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical; management; and construction and extraction. The remaining five occupational groups had average wages similar to those of the nation. 

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support; sales and related; and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; education, training, and library; and personal care and service. (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 2017
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesKnoxvilleUnited StatesKnoxvillePercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0$24.34$21.08*-13

Management

5.15.7*57.6547.52*-18

Business and financial operations

5.24.0*36.7030.74*-16

Computer and mathematical

3.02.1*43.1833.95*-21

Architecture and engineering

1.82.2*41.4441.711

Life, physical, and social science

0.80.935.7633.94-5

Community and social service

1.51.2*23.1018.41*-20

Legal

0.80.6*51.6246.65-10

Education, training, and library

6.15.1*26.6722.76*-15

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.41.0*28.3423.30*-18

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.06.7*38.8332.32*-17

Healthcare support

2.92.6*15.0513.79*-8

Protective service

2.42.1*22.6919.76*-13

Food preparation and serving related

9.39.211.8810.02*-16

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.13.8*13.9111.80*-15

Personal care and service

3.62.7*13.1111.32*-14

Sales and related

10.211.0*19.5616.49*-16

Office and administrative support

15.416.7*18.2416.73*-8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.30.2*13.8714.374

Construction and extraction

4.03.5*24.0119.78*-18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.94.3*23.0221.20*-8

Production

6.36.9*18.3018.08-1

Transportation and material moving

7.07.517.8216.22*-9

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.
* 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. Knoxville had 63,440 jobs in office and administrative support occupations, accounting for 16.7 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 15.4-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.73, significantly below the national wage of $18.24.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included general office clerks (7,580), stock clerks and order fillers (7,380), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (7,380). Among the higher paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $26.66 and $25.25, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($9.18) and stock clerks and order fillers ($12.59). (Detailed data for office and administrative support occupations 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 office and administrative support group. For instance, computer operators were employed at 3.1 times the national rate in Knoxville, and interviewers, except eligibility and loan, at 1.9 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 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.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at www.bls.gov/oes/changes_2017.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 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 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,997 establishments with a response rate of 68 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

The May 2017 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 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 2017 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 Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, and Union Counties in Tennessee.

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 2017
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Office and administrative support occupations

63,4401.1$16.73$34,800

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

5,0301.326.6655,460

Switchboard operators, including answering service

3001.413.5028,080

Bill and account collectors

1,0901.514.3129,770

Billing and posting clerks

1,7301.416.4334,180

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

4,0801.018.0637,560

Payroll and timekeeping clerks

3700.918.8639,220

Procurement clerks

1100.618.5138,510

Tellers

1,3001.013.1527,360

Financial clerks, all other

901.122.0545,860

Brokerage clerks

700.420.9643,600

Court, municipal, and license clerks

6701.917.7336,880

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks

2702.918.4738,410

Customer service representatives

7,3201.015.4632,150

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

2400.717.3936,160

File clerks

4101.314.0829,290

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

6501.09.1819,090

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

9501.913.4728,010

Library assistants, clerical

1800.713.8228,740

Loan interviewers and clerks

8501.417.3035,980

Order clerks

6501.417.9037,230

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

3100.919.0439,610

Receptionists and information clerks

2,2000.812.9426,920

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

3700.914.2229,580

Information and record clerks, all other

5301.216.4734,260

Cargo and freight agents

400.220.7743,200

Couriers and messengers

1500.815.6032,440

Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers

3001.217.7236,860

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

8801.718.0837,610

Meter readers, utilities

1501.720.0741,750

Postal service clerks

1900.823.2848,410

Postal service mail carriers

8901.024.4550,860

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

4001.323.4148,690

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

9301.025.1452,300

Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks

1,8901.114.2029,530

Stock clerks and order fillers

7,3801.412.5926,180

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

2001.016.1033,490

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

7200.525.2552,520

Legal secretaries

2900.620.7943,250

Medical secretaries

1,4000.914.5430,250

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

7,3801.216.0733,430

Computer operators

3303.118.7839,070

Data entry keyers

5601.213.9028,920

Word processors and typists

2501.415.8432,940

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

2300.317.8537,140

Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

2200.913.3027,670

Office clerks, general

7,5801.015.4932,230

Office machine operators, except computer

1401.014.2829,690

Statistical assistants

401.521.6244,970

Office and administrative support workers, all other

9701.820.0741,740

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Knoxville 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.

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 15, 2018