An official website of the United States government
Friday, June 24, 2016
Workers in the El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $17.78 in May 2015, about 23 percent below the nationwide average of $23.23, 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 the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction; computer and mathematical; and personal care and service. Local wages in the four remaining occupational groups were not statistically different from their respective national averages.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, El Paso employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups including office and administrative support; food preparation and serving related; and sales and related. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management; business and financial operations; and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||El Paso||United States||El Paso||Percent|
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 El Paso 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 – office and administrative support – was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. El Paso had 53,940 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 18.6 percent of local employment, significantly higher than the 15.8-percent national share. However, the local wage for this occupational group was significantly below the U.S. average. At $14.10 an hour, the mean wage for El Paso office and administrative support workers was about 19 percent below the $17.47 national average.
Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included general office clerks (11,080), customer service representatives (7,770), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (4,800). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, and executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants, with mean hourly wages of $24.81 and $23.56, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($9.00) and stock clerks and order fillers ($10.09). (Detailed occupational data for the office and administrative support group are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_21340.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 El Paso metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, data entry keyers were employed at 2.2 times the national average in El Paso, and payroll and timekeeping clerks, at 1.8 times the national rate. Both location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, order clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in El Paso, 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.
With the issuance of data for May 2015, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area definitions as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. OES data are available for 394 metropolitan areas, 38 metropolitan divisions, and 167 OES-defined nonmetropolitan areas. A listing of the areas and their definitions can be found at www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.
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. The OES program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations for all industries combined in the nation; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; 432 metropolitan areas and divisions; 167 nonmetropolitan areas; and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. National estimates are also available by industry for NAICS sectors, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industries, and by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.
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 2015 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 73.5 percent based on establishments and 69.6 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.9 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 El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,486 establishments with a response rate of 62 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The May 2015 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.
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 El Paso Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in Texas.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/southwest. 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/current/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: (800) 877-8339.
Office and administrative support occupations
First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers
Switchboard operators, including answering service
Bill and account collectors
Billing and posting clerks
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
Payroll and timekeeping clerks
Financial clerks, all other
Court, municipal, and license clerks
Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks
Customer service representatives
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks
Interviewers, except eligibility and loan
Library assistants, clerical
Loan interviewers and clerks
New accounts clerks
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
Receptionists and information clerks
Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks
Information and record clerks, all other
Cargo and freight agents
Couriers and messengers
Police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers
Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance
Postal service clerks
Postal service mail carriers
Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators
Production, planning, and expediting clerks
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Stock clerks and order fillers
Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants
Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive
Data entry keyers
Word processors and typists
Insurance claims and policy processing clerks
Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service
Office clerks, general
Office machine operators, except computer
Office and administrative support workers, all other
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the El Paso MSA, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_21340.htm.
Last Modified Date: Friday, June 24, 2016