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News Release Information

Thursday, July 23, 2015

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Las Cruces, May 2014

Workers in the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.40 in May 2014, about 15 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, 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 lower than their respective national averages in 18 of 22 major groups including sales and related; management; and transportation and material moving. Wages in the four remaining groups were not statistically different from their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including education, training, and library; personal care and service; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; production; and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesLas CrucesUnited StatesLas CrucesPercent

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0% $22.71$19.40*-15



Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical

2.82.7 40.3737.52*-7

Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service

1.42.2*21.7921.57 -1



Education, training, and library

6.210.0*25.1025.77 3

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.85.6 36.5438.05 4

Healthcare support

2.92.9 13.8612.93*-7

Protective service

2.43.8*21.1423.37 11

Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.23.2 12.6810.40*-18

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 Las Cruces is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.

Note: * 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–architecture and engineering–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Las Cruces had 2,090 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 1.8-percent national share. However, at $35.50 per hour, the local average hourly wage for this occupational group was about 9 percent below the national average of $39.19.

With employment of 370, electronics engineers, except computer, was among the largest occupations within the architecture and engineering group, as were electrical and electronics engineering technicians (250) and electrical engineers (180). Among the higher paying jobs were electrical engineers and electronics engineers, except computer, with mean hourly wages of $43.23 and $40.31, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were survey and mapping technicians ($15.63) and civil engineering technicians ($18.26). (Detailed occupational data for architecture and engineering are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations 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 Las Cruces metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, electronics engineers, except computer, were employed at 5.3 times the national rate in Las Cruces, and aerospace engineers, at 4.1 times the U.S. average. Both location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, architectural and civil drafters had a location quotient of 1.2 in Las Cruces, 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 New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.


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. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,038 establishments with a response rate of 86 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 2014 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 Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Doña Ana County in New Mexico.

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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Las Cruces Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages

Architecture and engineering occupations


Architects, except landscape and naval


Aerospace engineers


Civil engineers


Electrical engineers


Electronics engineers, except computer


Industrial engineers


Mechanical engineers


Architectural and civil drafters


Civil engineering technicians


Electrical and electronics engineering technicians


Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other


Surveying and mapping technicians


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Las Cruces 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.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 23, 2015