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.


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

Thursday, June 15, 2023

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Athens-Clarke County — May 2022

Workers in the Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.88 in May 2022, 16 percent below the nationwide average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Victoria G. Lee noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 19 of the 22 major occupational groups, including sales and related, food preparation and serving related, and office and administrative support. Two groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including educational instruction and library.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Athens area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including educational instruction and library; life, physical, and social science; and food preparation and serving related. Thirteen groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations, computer and mathematical, and construction and extraction. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Athens metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2022
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Athens United States Athens Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 29.76 24.88* -16


6.7 5.4* 63.08 51.37* -19

Business and financial operations

6.5 4.5* 41.39 32.99* -20

Computer and mathematical

3.4 1.5* 51.99 34.35* -34

Architecture and engineering

1.7 0.8* 45.52 35.35* -22

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 3.1* 40.21 31.11* -23

Community and social service

1.6 1.7* 26.81 24.12* -10


0.8 0.6* 59.87 (2) (2)

Educational instruction and library

5.7 10.9* 30.41 32.30* 6

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.3* 36.78 28.13* -24

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 7.5* 46.52 40.83* -12

Healthcare support

4.6 3.6* 17.10 16.27* -5

Protective service

2.3 2.3 25.97 21.75* -16

Food preparation and serving related

8.5 10.5* 15.45 12.81* -17

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.8* 17.26 16.13* -7

Personal care and service

1.9 2.1* 17.41 14.75* -15

Sales and related

8.9 9.1 24.22 18.21* -25

Office and administrative support

12.6 12.1* 21.90 19.07* -13

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.3* 18.21 19.51* 7

Construction and extraction

4.1 2.4* 28.08 23.33* -17

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.7* 26.77 23.29* -13


5.9 6.3* 21.81 19.11* -12

Transportation and material moving

9.2 7.6* 21.12 18.52* -12

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Athens-Clarke County, GA 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—educational instruction and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Athens had 9,500 jobs in educational instruction and library, accounting for 10.9 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.7-percent share nationally. The average annual wage for this occupational group locally was $67,190, significantly above the national wage of $63,240.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the educational instruction and library group included elementary school teachers, except special education (1,450), teaching assistants, except postsecondary (850), and secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education (610). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were postsecondary business teachers and postsecondary health specialties teachers, with mean annual wages of $159,700 and $128,920, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were teaching assistants, except postsecondary ($23,130), and tutors ($31,420). (Detailed data for the educational instruction and library occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

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 Athens area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the educational instruction and library group. For instance, farm and home management educators were employed at 28.4 times the national rate in Athens, and post secondary education teachers, at 7.1 times the U.S. average. Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education had a location quotient of 1.0 in Athens, 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 Georgia Department of Labor.

Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Data

The May 2022 OEWS estimates use the model-based (MB3) estimation method implemented with the May 2021 estimates release. Additional updates were made to the MB3 wage processing methodology for May 2022. For more information, see the May 2022 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement.

The May 2022 estimates are the first OEWS estimates to be produced using the 2022 NAICS, which replaces the 2017 NAICS used for the May 2017-May 2021 estimates. See North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at BLS for details.

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

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 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2022 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2022, November 2021, May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, and November 2019. The unweighted sampled employment of 80 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 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 65.4 percent based on establishments and 62.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,139 establishments with a response rate of 70 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to

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 Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Clarke County, Madison County, Oconee County, and Oglethorpe County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for educational instruction and library occupations, Athens metropolitan area, May 2022
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Educational instruction and library occupations

9,500 1.9 32.30 67,190

Business teachers, postsecondary

150 3.2 (6) 159,700

Computer science teachers, postsecondary

30 1.8 (6) 105,930

Political science teachers, postsecondary

(5) (5) (6) 118,740

Psychology teachers, postsecondary

(5) (5) (6) 101,490

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

280 2.3 (6) 128,920

Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

50 1.1 (6) 67,780

Education teachers, postsecondary

250 7.1 (6) 88,760

Social work teachers, postsecondary

(5) (5) (6) 77,120

Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary

150 2.5 (6) 81,440

Career/technical education teachers, postsecondary

50 0.9 25.21 52,440

Postsecondary teachers, all other

110 0.9 (6) 54,860

Preschool teachers, except special education

190 0.8 17.63 36,680

Kindergarten teachers, except special education

(5) (5) (6) 58,010

Elementary school teachers, except special education

1,450 1.8 (6) 61,250

Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education

(5) (5) (6) 61,190

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

610 1.0 (6) 65,010

Career/technical education teachers, secondary school

60 1.1 (6) 60,330

Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school

130 1.2 (6) 56,560

Self-enrichment teachers

170 1.1 23.48 48,830

Substitute teachers, short-term

(5) (5) 14.11 29,360


140 1.4 15.11 31,420

Teachers and instructors, all other

360 5.1 (6) 48,750

Librarians and media collections specialists

120 1.5 32.03 66,620

Library technicians

70 1.7 17.35 36,090

Farm and home management educators

140 28.4 45.09 93,790

Instructional coordinators

120 1.1 35.23 73,280

Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

850 1.2 (6) 23,130

Educational instruction and library workers, all other

1,290 16.9 27.67 57,550

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Athens-Clarke County, GA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(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.
(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, 2023