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News Release Information

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Houma–Thibodaux, May 2016

Workers in the Houma-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.08 in May 2016, about 12 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 groups, including computer and mathematical; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and protective service. Three local groups had wages that were measurably higher than the U.S. average.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving; installation, maintenance, and repair; and construction and extraction. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including computer and mathematical; education, training, and library; and office and administrative support. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
Thibodaux, LA
Thibodaux, LA

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0 $23.86$21.08*-12



Business and financial operations

5.2(2) 36.0928.37*-21

Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering

1.82.0 40.5337.94*-6

Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service

1.41.4 22.6920.10*-11


0.80.3*50.9537.32 -27

Education, training, and library


Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.95.9 38.0633.50*-12

Healthcare support


Protective service


Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related

10.410.4 19.5015.80*-19

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 the Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimates not released.

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–transportation and material moving–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Houma had 12,610 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 14.0 percent of local area employment, more than double the 6.9-percent national share. More importantly, the local average hourly wage for this occupational group was $24.38, more than 40 percent above the national wage of $17.34.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels (2,680), laborers and hand freight, stock, and material movers (2,360), and sailors and marine oilers (2,170). Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators, as well as captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels, with mean hourly wages of $50.97 and $41.86, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were school or special client bus drivers ($9.87) and hand packers and packagers ($10.18). (Detailed occupational data for production workers are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of all occupations see

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 Houma metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. In particular, captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels were employed at 113.8 times the national average in Houma and sailors and marine oilers, at 104.1 times the U.S. rate. Both location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, industrial truck and tractor operators had a location quotient of 0.9 in Houma, 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 Louisiana 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.

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. 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

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 Houma-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,389 establishments with a response rate of 78 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Houma-Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes in Louisiana.

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 the 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, Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages

Transportation and material moving occupations


First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand


First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators


Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers


Commercial pilots


Bus drivers, school or special client


Driver/sales workers


Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers


Light truck or delivery services drivers


Taxi drivers and chauffeurs


Sailors and marine oilers


Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels


Ship engineers


Bridge and lock tenders


Automotive and watercraft service attendants


Transportation workers, all other


Crane and tower operators


Industrial truck and tractor operators


Cleaners of vehicles and equipment


Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand


Packers and packagers, hand


Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers


Refuse and recyclable material collectors


Material moving workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Houma-Thibodaux, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017