Friday, April 25, 2014
Workers in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.96 in May 2013, 7 percent above 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 12 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; sales and related; and architecture and engineering. Six groups had wages that were measurably lower than their respective national averages; included in this grouping were protective service and construction and extraction.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Houston employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups including construction and extraction; architecture and engineering; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including healthcare practitioners and technical; healthcare support; and community and social service. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social service
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioners and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
One occupational group – architecture and engineering – illustrates the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Houston had 89,620 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.2 percent of local area employment, significantly above the 1.8-percent national share. The local average hourly wage for this occupational group was $49.56, nearly 30 percent above the national average of $38.51.
Some of the largest occupations within the architecture and engineering group included petroleum engineers (12,520), civil engineers (10,700), and mechanical engineers (7,720). Among the higher paying jobs were petroleum engineers and chemical engineers, with mean hourly wages of $78.60 and $67.06, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were surveying and mapping technicians ($20.96) and architectural and civil engineering technicians ($23.75). (Detailed occupational data for the architecture and engineering group are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of all detailed occupations go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26420.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 Houston metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the detailed occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, marine engineers and naval architects were employed at 10 times the national rate in Houston, and petroleum engineers, at more than 17 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, electrical engineers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Houston, 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 Texas Workforce Commission.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Houston-Sugar Land- Baytown 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.
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 Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area included 9,786 establishments with a response rate of 55 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
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 www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, 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 www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes includes Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto, and Waller Counties in Texas.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southwest/home.htm. 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/2013/may/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: 1-800-877-8339.
Architecture and engineering occupations
Architects, except landscape and naval
Cartographers and photogrammetrists
Computer hardware engineers
Electronics engineers, except computer
Health and safety engineers, except mining safety engineers and inspectors
Marine engineers and naval architects
Mining and geological engineers, including mining safety engineers
Engineers, all other
Architectural and civil drafters
Electrical and electronics drafters
Drafters, all other
Aerospace engineering and operations technicians
Civil engineering technicians
Electrical and electronics engineering technicians
Environmental engineering technicians
Industrial engineering technicians
Mechanical engineering technicians
Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other
Surveying and mapping technicians
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_26420.htm.
Last Modified Date: Friday, April 25, 2014