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News Release Information

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

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  • (972) 850-4800

Occupational Employment and Wages in Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway – May 2017

Workers in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.05 in May 2017, about 14 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, 20 of the 22 major occupational groups in the local area had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; management; and construction and extraction. The two remaining major occupational groups in the local area had wages that were similar to their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; management; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; education, training, and library; and food preparation and serving related. (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 2017
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Little Rock United States Little Rock Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.34 $21.05* -14


5.1 5.8* 57.65 42.86* -26

Business and financial operations

5.2 5.6* 36.70 28.71* -22

Computer and mathematical

3.0 3.0 43.18 33.32* -23

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.3* 41.44 34.02* -18

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.7* 35.76 27.40* -23

Community and social service

1.5 1.3* 23.10 20.26* -12


0.8 0.9* 51.62 35.23* -32

Education, training, and library

6.1 5.1* 26.67 26.49 -1

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.0* 28.34 21.17* -25

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 8.3* 38.83 32.47* -16

Healthcare support

2.9 3.4* 15.05 13.08* -13

Protective service

2.4 2.5 22.69 18.50* -18

Food preparation and serving related

9.3 8.7* 11.88 10.75* -10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 2.9 13.91 11.67* -16

Personal care and service

3.6 3.1* 13.11 11.15* -15

Sales and related

10.2 10.5 19.56 17.05* -13

Office and administrative support

15.4 15.4 18.24 16.46* -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 13.87 13.71 -1

Construction and extraction

4.0 4.3 24.01 18.36* -24

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.5* 23.02 19.90* -14


6.3 4.8* 18.30 17.36* -5

Transportation and material moving

7.0 6.8 17.82 16.36* -8

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* 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-North Little Rock-Conway had 28,890 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $32.47, significantly below the national wage of $38.83.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (9,690), licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (3,540), and pharmacy technicians (1,670). Among the higher-paying jobs were surgeons, as well as family and general practitioners, with mean hourly wages of $137.83 and $121.31, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were dietetic technicians ($12.84) and veterinary technologists and technicians ($13.24). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available 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-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, in Little Rock, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, as well as speech-language pathologists, were employed at 2.1 times the national rate. Little Rock's location quotient for speech language pathologists was among the highest in all metropolitan areas for this particular occupation. On the other hand, clinical laboratory technologists and technicians had a location quotient of 1.1 in Little Rock, 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 Arkansas Department of Workforce Services.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

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

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 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 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 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,691 establishments with a response rate of 71 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 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 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway Metropolitan Statistical Area 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 2017
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

28,890 1.4 $32.47 $67,540


80 1.0 17.12 35,610

Dentists, general

250 0.9 65.57 136,390

Dietitians and nutritionists

170 1.1 27.48 57,160


80 0.9 36.73 76,390


1,500 2.0 52.96 110,160

Family and general practitioners

270 0.9 121.31 252,320

Obstetricians and gynecologists

(5) (5) 126.99 264,130


80 0.8 137.83 286,690

Physicians and surgeons, all other

1,450 1.7 68.23 141,930

Physician assistants

210 0.8 40.82 84,900

Occupational therapists

500 1.6 35.99 74,860

Physical therapists

710 1.3 38.71 80,520

Radiation therapists

110 2.7 31.54 65,610

Respiratory therapists

330 1.1 25.81 53,680

Speech-language pathologists

720 2.1 33.57 69,830


190 1.1 26.48 55,080

Registered nurses

9,690 1.4 30.25 62,910

Nurse anesthetists

160 1.6 67.19 139,760

Nurse practitioners

680 1.7 45.68 95,010

Health diagnosing and treating practitioners, all other

130 1.4 (5) (5)

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

830 1.1 20.71 43,070

Dental hygienists

350 0.7 33.32 69,310

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

230 1.7 24.21 50,360

Diagnostic medical sonographers

250 1.5 30.79 64,030

Nuclear medicine technologists

90 2.0 34.81 72,400

Radiologic technologists

960 2.0 23.89 49,690

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

210 2.3 27.65 57,520

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

(5) (5) 14.26 29,660

Dietetic technicians

90 1.1 12.84 26,700

Pharmacy technicians

1,670 1.6 15.51 32,270

Psychiatric technicians

240 1.5 13.69 28,480

Respiratory therapy technicians

(5) (5) 22.22 46,210

Surgical technologists

400 1.6 20.37 42,370

Veterinary technologists and technicians

100 0.4 13.24 27,530

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

3,540 2.1 19.59 40,750

Medical records and health information technicians

580 1.2 18.32 38,100

Opticians, dispensing

160 0.9 20.36 42,350

Health technologists and technicians, all other

500 1.6 20.27 42,160

Occupational health and safety specialists

220 1.1 28.02 58,290

Athletic trainers

(5) (5) (6) 29,880

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

400 4.7 22.15 46,070

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway 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) Estimate 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: Tuesday, June 26, 2018