Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Workers in the Laredo Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $17.43 in May 2016, about 27 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations 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 group including computer and mathematical; personal care and service; and sales and related. Wage levels in the remaining groups were not statistically different from their respective national averages.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support; transportation and material moving; and personal care and service. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; healthcare practitioners and technical; and computer and mathematical. (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
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. Laredo had 20,990 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 21.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 15.7-percent national share. However, the local wage for this occupational group was significantly below the U.S. average. At $14.28 an hour, the mean wage for Laredo office and administrative support workers was 20 percent below the $17.91 national average.
Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included general office clerks (4,370), customer service representatives (2,580), and stock clerks and order fillers (1,690). Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, as well as cargo and freight agents with mean hourly wages of $25.57 and $17.82, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were stock clerks and order fillers ($10.00) and receptionists and information clerks ($10.21). (Detailed occupational data for office and administrative support are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes_29700.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 Laredo metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, local cargo and freight agents were employed at 13.8 times the U.S. average, and dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance, at 5.7 times the national rate. Both location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in Laredo, indicating that this 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.
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 data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates 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. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2016 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, and November 2013. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 73 percent based on establishments and 69 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Laredo Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,151 establishments with a response rate of 64 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The May 2016 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 Laredo Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Webb County 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
Bill and account collectors
Billing and posting clerks
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks
Payroll and timekeeping clerks
Court, municipal, and license clerks
Customer service representatives
Eligibility interviewers, government programs
Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks
Library assistants, clerical
Loan interviewers and clerks
Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping
Receptionists and information clerks
Information and record clerks, all other
Cargo and freight agents
Couriers and messengers
Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance
Postal service mail carriers
Production, planning, and expediting clerks
Shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks
Stock clerks and order fillers
Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants
Secretaries & administrative assistants, except legal, medical, & executive
Data entry keyers
Office clerks, general
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 11, 2017