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

21-1029-ATL
Friday, June 25, 2021

Contacts

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Mobile — May 2020

Workers in the Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $22.43 in May 2020, about 17 percent below the nationwide average of $27.07, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that one occupational group—production—had a significantly higher wage than its respective national average. Nineteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical, healthcare practitioners and technical, and sales and related.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Mobile area employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; installation, maintenance, and repair; and construction and extraction. Eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including educational instruction and library, business and financial operations, and computer and mathematical. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Mobile metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2020
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesMobileUnited StatesMobilePercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0$27.07$22.43*-17

Management

5.74.6*60.8151.61*-15

Business and financial operations

6.03.8*38.7932.39*-16

Computer and mathematical

3.31.9*46.5335.46*-24

Architecture and engineering

1.81.943.4144.382

Life, physical, and social science

0.9(2)38.1531.17*-18

Community and social service

1.61.1*25.0921.32*-15

Legal

0.80.754.00(2)

Educational instruction and library

6.13.5*28.7524.02*-16

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.30.9*30.9622.50*-27

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.27.4*41.3033.55*-19

Healthcare support

4.63.6*15.5012.58*-19

Protective service

2.42.2*25.1118.87*-25

Food preparation and serving related

8.18.113.3010.39*-22

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.93.115.7512.49*-21

Personal care and service

1.91.815.6811.50*-27

Sales and related

9.410.8*22.0018.27*-17

Office and administrative support

13.314.220.3817.76*-13

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3(2)16.0213.56*-15

Construction and extraction

4.36.0*25.9321.64*-17

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.95.9*25.1723.41*-7

Production

6.18.3*20.0823.13*15

Transportation and material moving

8.79.419.0816.41*-14

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Mobile had 14,020 jobs in production occupations, accounting for 8.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent national share. The local average hourly wage for this occupational group was $23.13, significantly higher than the national average of $20.08.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (1,600); helpers of production worker (1,270); and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,080). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were chemical plant and system operators and also first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $36.67 and $36.09, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers ($10.55) and textile, garment, and related materials pressers ($10.97). (Detailed data for the production occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33660.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 Mobile area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the production group. For instance, chemical plant and system operators were employed at 16.8 times the national rate in Mobile, and chemical equipment operators and tenders, at 4.7 times the U.S. average. Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers had a location quotient of 0.9 in Mobile, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Alabama Department of Labor.

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Name Change

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program has changed its name to Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) to better reflect the range of data available from the program. Data released on or after March 31, 2021, will reflect the new program name. Webpages, publications, and other materials associated with previous data releases will retain the Occupational Employment Statistics name.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on May 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

Due to features of the OEWS methodology, the May 2020 OEWS estimates do not fully reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The May 2020 OEWS estimates are based on survey panels collected for May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017. Because 5 of the 6 survey panels used to produce the estimates date from before the COVID-19 pandemic, only the most recent (May 2020) survey panel reflects changes in occupational proportions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The May 2020 OEWS employment estimates are benchmarked to the average of May 2020 and November 2019 employment from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Although the May 2020 QCEW data reflect the early employment effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the November 2019 QCEW employment data precede the pandemic, and therefore do not reflect its impact.

In addition, as a result of the pandemic, response rates for the November 2019 and May 2020 panels were lower in some areas. Lower response rates may negatively affect data availability and data quality.

More information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-occupational-employment-and-wage-statistics.htm.

Implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

With the May 2019 estimates, the OEWS program began implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Because the May 2019 and May 2020 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. This is the second and final year that the hybrid occupational structure will be used. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OEWS estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 and May 2020 estimates, please see www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#qf10.

Upcoming Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Methodology

With the May 2021 estimates, to be released in Spring 2022, the OEWS program plans to begin using a new estimation methodology. The new model-based methodology, called MB3, has advantages over the existing methodology, as described in the Monthly Labor Review article at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2019/article/model-based-estimates-for-the-occupational-employment-statistics-program.htm. OEWS estimates for the years 2015-2018 were recalculated using the new estimation methodology and are available as research estimates at www.bls.gov/oes/oes-mb3-methods.htm.


Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OEWS data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

The OEWS survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 185,000 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 2020 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 56 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 69 percent based on establishments and 66 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,810 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.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.

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 Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Mobile County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_doc.htm.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for production occupations, Mobile metropolitan area, May 2020
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Production occupations

14,0201.4$23.13$48,120

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

1,0801.536.0975,060

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers

(5)(5)28.8459,990

Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers

900.314.4630,070

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

4900.316.8735,090

Bakers

1300.612.1825,340

Butchers and meat cutters

1901.115.4532,130

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

3602.010.5521,950

Food batchmakers

1600.911.9724,900

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

3301.523.4448,750

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

400.424.0950,100

Machinists

5701.324.0550,020

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

1300.721.2044,090

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

1,6003.325.2252,460

Plating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

400.817.8737,170

Printing press operators

1100.613.9729,070

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

2501.111.0823,050

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

(5)(5)10.9722,810

Sewing machine operators

(5)(5)12.0525,070

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

1101.016.0233,310

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

500.812.2425,450

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

(5)(5)15.9933,260

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

2601.818.2838,020

Chemical plant and system operators

61016.836.6776,270

Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

1803.629.7261,820

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

5304.729.5561,470

Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5)(5)14.2229,580

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

701.114.9831,160

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

6000.926.0154,110

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

(5)(5)23.1348,110

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

2400.518.3238,100

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

2001.220.5542,740

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

(5)(5)19.8841,360

Helpers--production workers

1,2704.412.2025,380

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Mobile, AL Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_33660.htm.
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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: Friday, June 25, 2021