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News Release Information

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Baton Rouge, May 2013

Workers in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.99 in May 2013, about 10 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 2 of the 22 major occupational groups, including production, while nineteen groups had significantly lower wages including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and healthcare support.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction; installation, maintenance, and repair; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and education, training, and library. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Baton Rouge   United States Baton Rouge   Percent

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0%   $22.33 $19.99 * -10


4.9 4.6 * 53.15 47.26 * -11

Business and financial operations

5.0 3.9 * 34.14 26.65 * -22

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.5 * 39.43 30.22 * -23

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.6 * 38.51 39.68   3

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.8 * 33.37 28.21 * -15

Community and social service

1.4 1.2 * 21.50 19.96 * -7


0.8 0.7   47.89 39.92 * -17

Education, training, and library

6.3 5.2 * 24.76 23.19 * -6

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.2   26.72 22.07 * -17

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.8 5.9   35.93 30.04 * -16

Healthcare support

3.0 3.2   13.61 11.01 * -19

Protective service

2.5 3.2 * 20.92 17.62 * -16

Food preparation and serving related

9.0 8.2 * 10.38 9.43 * -9

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.8 * 12.51 10.28 * -18

Personal care and service

3.0 2.7   11.88 9.98 * -16

Sales and related

10.6 10.6   18.37 15.33 * -17

Office and administrative support

16.2 15.7 * 16.78 15.05 * -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 11.70 16.82 * 44

Construction and extraction

3.8 8.2 * 21.94 18.68 * -15

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.2 * 21.35 20.68 * -3


6.6 6.1   16.79 23.68 * 41

Transportation and material moving

6.8 6.4   16.28 15.46 * -5

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Baton Rouge 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–construction and extraction–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Baton Rouge had 30,230 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 8.2 percent of local area employment, more than double the 3.8-percent national share. However, the average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.68, 15 percent below the national wage of $21.94.

With employment of 4,720, construction laborers was among the largest occupations within the construction and extraction group, as were carpenters (3,610) and electricians (3,120). Among the higher paying jobs were first line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers with mean hourly wages of $28.41 per hour and electricians at $22.30 per hour. At the lower end of the wage scale were construction laborers ($13.21) and carpenters’ helpers ($13.39). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of all occupations, see

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 Baton Rouge metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters helpers were employed at 9.0 times the national rate in Baton Rouge, and mechanical insulation workers, at 17.4 times the U.S. average. Baton Rouge’s location quotient for mechanical insulation workers was the second highest among all metropolitan areas in the country; only Odessa, Texas, had a higher quotient. On the other hand, cement masons and concrete finishers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Baton Rouge, 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 Louisiana Workforce Commission.


OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

Note: 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. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,239 establishments with a response rate of 72 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and, respectively.

The May 2013 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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) include Ascension, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, West Baton Rouge, and West Feliciana Parishes in Louisiana.

Additional information
OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request – Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
Hourly Annual(4)

Construction and extraction occupations

30,230 2.2 $18.68 $38,850

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

2,450 1.9 28.41 59,090


380 8.6 19.85 41,290

Brickmasons and blockmasons

150 0.9 20.64 42,940


60 2.1 25.81 53,680


3,610 2.3 18.72 38,940

Tile and marble setters

(5) (5) 17.34 36,070

Cement masons and concrete finishers

440 1.1 17.71 36,830

Construction laborers

4,720 2.1 13.21 27,480

Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators

(5) (5) 13.91 28,940

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

2,400 2.6 17.52 36,450

Drywall and ceiling tile installers

(5) (5) 16.54 34,400


3,120 2.1 22.30 46,380

Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

(5) (5) 15.20 31,620

Insulation workers, mechanical

1,330 17.4 20.42 42,470

Painters, construction and maintenance

1,020 1.9 17.59 36,590


120 1.1 14.49 30,150

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

2,850 2.9 21.82 45,390

Plasterers and stucco masons

(5) (5) 13.79 28,680

Reinforcing iron and rebar workers

50 1.1 23.48 48,840


210 0.8 17.44 36,280

Sheet metal workers

310 0.9 19.67 40,920

Structural iron and steel workers

1,020 6.4 19.49 40,530

Helpers-brickmasons, blockmasons, stonemasons, and tile and marble setters

170 2.5 14.61 30,390


770 7.4 13.39 27,850


610 3.5 13.50 28,090

Helpers-pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

1,170 9.0 14.75 30,670

Helpers, construction trades, all other

(5) (5) 12.10 25,170

Construction and building inspectors

170 0.7 23.25 48,360

Hazardous materials removal workers

110 1.0 16.12 33,520

Highway maintenance workers

(5) (5) 13.52 28,120

Construction and related workers, all other

200 2.4 16.19 33,680

Derrick operators, oil and gas

30 0.6 24.13 50,200

Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

40 0.6 33.17 68,990

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Baton Rouge MSA, see
(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) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014