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News Release Information

Monday, May 18, 2020

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Occupational Employment and Wages in El Paso – May 2019

Workers in the El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.45 in May 2019, about 24 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Susan Mendez noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 18 of the 22 major occupational groups had average wages in the local area that were significantly lower than their respective national averages, including construction and extraction, healthcare support, and sales and related. No local group had wages that were significantly above their respective national average.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, El Paso area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups including office and administrative support, healthcare support, and educational instruction and library. Thirteen groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations, management, and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
El PasoUnited
El PasoPercent

Total, all occupations




Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service




Educational instruction and library


Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical*-16

Healthcare support


Protective service


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 the El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area 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–educational instruction and library–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. El Paso had 23,690 jobs in educational instruction and library occupations, accounting for 7.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent national share. The local average hourly wage for this occupational group was $27.97, compared to the national average of $27.75.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the educational instruction and library group included secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education (3,490), short-term substitute teachers (3,470), and elementary school teachers, except special education (3,430). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were instructional coordinators, as well as librarians and media collections specialists, with mean annual wages of $73,890 and $70,200, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were short-term substitute teachers ($23,100) and teaching assistants, except postsecondary ($27,850). (Detailed data for the educational instruction and library occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations 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 El Paso area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the detailed occupations within the educational instruction and library group. For instance, short-term substitute teachers were employed at 2.8 times the national rate in the El Paso area, and secondary school career/technical education teachers, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, elementary school teachers, except special education, had a location quotient of 1.1 in the greater El Paso area, 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.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

With the May 2019 estimates, the OES program has begun implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Each set of OES estimates is calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. These combinations may include occupations from more than one 2018 SOC minor group or broad occupation. Therefore, OES will not publish data for some 2018 SOC minor groups and broad occupations in the May 2019 estimates. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OES estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

In addition, the OES program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OES will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides.

For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 OES estimates, please see and

The May 2019 OES estimates use the metropolitan area definitions delineated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 17-01, which add a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Twin Falls, Idaho. For more information on the area definitions used in the May 2019 estimates, please see

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 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, 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

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 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 2019 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, and November 2016. The unweighted sampled employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,330 establishments with a response rate of 53 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 May 2019 OES estimates are the first set of OES estimates to be based in part on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. These estimates use a hybrid of the 2010 and 2018 SOC systems. More information on the hybrid classification system is available at

The May 2019 OES estimates are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More information about the 2017 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 El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area includes El Paso and Hudspeth Counties in Texas.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed information about the OES program is available 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 for educational instruction and library occupations, El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages

Educational instruction and library occupations


  Business teachers, postsecondary


  Computer science teachers, postsecondary


  Engineering teachers, postsecondary


  Biological science teachers, postsecondary


  Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary


  Education teachers, postsecondary


  Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary


  English language and literature teachers, postsecondary


  Career/technical education teachers, postsecondary


  Postsecondary teachers, all other


  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


  Special education teachers, all other


  Adult basic education, adult secondary education, and english as a second language instructors


  Self-enrichment teachers


  Substitute teachers, short-term


  Tutors and teachers and instructors, all other


  Librarians and media collections specialists


  Library technicians


  Instructional coordinators


  Teaching assistants, postsecondary


  Teaching assistants, except postsecondary


  Educational instruction and library workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the El Paso, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that 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) 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: Monday, May 18, 2020