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News Release Information

Monday, July 13, 2015

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, May 2014

Workers in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.20 in May 2014, about 11 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 20 of the 22 major groups, including computer and mathematical; legal; and management.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; office and administrative support; and sales and related. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related; architecture and engineering; and production. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesLittle Rock-
North Little Rock-
United StatesLittle Rock-
North Little Rock-

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0% $22.71$20.20*-11



Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical

2.83.2 40.3730.78*-24

Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service




Education, training, and library

6.25.4 25.1025.11 0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical


Healthcare support

2.93.1 13.8612.73*-8

Protective service


Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.23.3 12.6810.63*-16

Personal care and service

3.13.0 12.0110.06*-16

Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry


Construction and extraction

3.93.7 22.4017.80*-21

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.94.0 21.7419.08*-12



Transportation and material moving

6.86.6 16.5715.36*-7

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway 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–healthcare practitioners and technical–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Little Rock had 27,080 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.8-percent national share. However, at $33.53 per hour, the local average hourly wage for this occupational group was about 8 percent below the national average of $36.54.

With employment of 9,300, registered nurses was one of  the largest occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, as were licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (3,060) and pharmacy technicians (1,140). Among the higher paying jobs were family and general practitioners and general internists, with mean hourly wages of $107.38 and $103.98, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were emergency medical technicians and paramedics ($14.05) and pharmacy technicians ($14.27). (Detailed occupational data for the healthcare practitioners and technical group 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 Little Rock metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, speech-language pathologists were employed at 2.0 times the national rate in Little Rock, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, at 1.8 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, radiologic technologists had a location quotient of 1.1 in Little Rock, 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 Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.


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 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,880 establishments with a response rate of 81 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 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Perry, Pulaski, and Saline Counties in Arkansas.

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, Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages


Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations



Dentists, general


Dietitians and nutritionists






Family and general practitioners


Internists, general


Obstetricians and gynecologists






Physicians and surgeons, all other


Physician assistants


Occupational therapists


Physical therapists


Radiation therapists


Recreational therapists


Respiratory therapists


Speech-language pathologists




Registered nurses


Nurse anesthetists


Nurse practitioners


Medical and clinical laboratory technologists


Medical and clinical laboratory technicians


Dental hygienists


Cardiovascular technologists and technicians


Diagnostic medical sonographers


Nuclear medicine technologists


Radiologic technologists


Magnetic resonance imaging technologists


Emergency medical technicians and paramedics


Dietetic technicians


Pharmacy technicians


Psychiatric technicians


Respiratory therapy technicians


Surgical technologists


Veterinary technologists and technicians


Ophthalmic medical technicians


Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses


Medical records and health information technicians


Opticians, dispensing


Orthotists and prosthetists


Health technologists and technicians, all other


Occupational health and safety specialists


Occupational health and safety technicians


Athletic trainers


Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway 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.
(6) This wage is equal to or greater than $90.00 per hour or $187,200 per year.


Last Modified Date: Monday, July 13, 2015