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Friday, June 29, 2018
Workers in the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $16.94 in May 2017, about 30 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 18 of 22 major occupational groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including construction and extraction; health care support; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Local wage levels for healthcare practitioners and technical, as well as protective service, were similar to the national averages.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including personal care and service; healthcare support; and education, training, and library. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; management; and production. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Brownsville||United States||Brownsville||Percent difference (1)|
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
One occupational group—education, training, and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Brownsville-Harlingen had 12,820 jobs in education, training, and library, accounting for 9.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $21.77, significantly below the national wage of $26.67.
Some of the larger detailed occupations within the education, training, and library group included elementary school teachers, except special education (2,620), secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education (2,490), and teacher assistants (1,890). Among the higher-paying jobs were instructional coordinators and librarians, with mean annual wages of $64,100 and $60,300, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were teacher assistants ($20,490) and substitute teachers ($24,620). (Detailed occupational data for education, training, and library are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_15180.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 Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the education, training, and library group. For instance, secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education, were employed at 2.5 times the national rate in Brownsville, and middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education, at 2.3 times the U.S. average. Both Brownsville location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, preschool teachers, except special education, had a location quotient of 0.9 in Brownsville, 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.
With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at www.bls.gov/oes/changes_2017.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 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 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,426 establishments with a response rate of 61 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.
The May 2017 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 Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Cameron 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.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
Education, training, and library occupations
Vocational education teachers, postsecondary
Preschool teachers, except special education
Kindergarten teachers, except special education
Elementary school teachers, except special education
Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education
Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education
Career/technical education teachers, secondary school
Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school
Special education teachers, middle school
Special education teachers, secondary school
Self-enrichment education teachers
Teachers and instructors, all other, except substitute teachers
Last Modified Date: Friday, June 29, 2018