Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Occupational Employment and Wages in Olympia-Tumwater — May 2022

Workers in the Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $31.71 in May 2022, 7 percent above the nationwide average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Chris Rosenlund noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 14 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service, construction and extraction, and personal care and service. Seven groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and business and financial operations.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Olympia area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; and life, physical, and social science. Eleven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, transportation and material moving, and sales and related. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Olympia metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2022
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Olympia United States Olympia Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 29.76 31.71* 7


6.7 6.4* 63.08 59.42* -6

Business and financial operations

6.5 10.1* 41.39 36.92* -11

Computer and mathematical

3.4 5.3* 51.99 48.44* -7

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.5* 45.52 42.69* -6

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 2.2* 40.21 38.64* -4

Community and social service

1.6 2.5* 26.81 30.16* 12


0.8 1.1* 59.87 46.32* -23

Educational instruction and library

5.7 5.8 30.41 31.02* 2

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.5* 36.78 30.28* -18

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 5.9 46.52 49.64* 7

Healthcare support

4.6 4.3 17.10 20.50* 20

Protective service

2.3 2.1* 25.97 32.91* 27

Food preparation and serving related

8.5 7.9* 15.45 18.58* 20

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.5* 17.26 19.63* 14

Personal care and service

1.9 2.0 17.41 21.36* 23

Sales and related

8.9 8.0* 24.22 24.55 1

Office and administrative support

12.6 13.0* 21.90 23.60* 8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 18.21 25.71* 41

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.0* 28.08 32.97* 17

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.2* 26.77 29.17* 9


5.9 2.7* 21.81 23.02* 6

Transportation and material moving

9.2 7.7* 21.12 22.25* 5

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—business and financial operations—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Olympia had 12,250 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 10.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.5-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $36.92, significantly below the national wage of $41.39.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the business and financial operations group included management analysts (1,880), human resources specialists (1,160), and accountants and auditors (1,020). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were personal financial advisors and project management specialists, with mean hourly wages of $57.11 and $49.46, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were meeting, convention, and event planners ($27.45) and compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists ($30.50). (Detailed data for the business and financial operations occupations 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 Olympia area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists were employed at 5.4 times the national rate in Olympia, and claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators, at 3.7 times the U.S. average. Accountants and auditors had a location quotient of 0.9 in Olympia, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Washington Employment Security Department.

Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Data

The May 2022 OEWS estimates use the model-based (MB3) estimation method implemented with the May 2021 estimates release. Additional updates were made to the MB3 wage processing methodology for May 2022. For more information, see the May 2022 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement.

The May 2022 estimates are the first OEWS estimates to be produced using the 2022 NAICS, which replaces the 2017 NAICS used for the May 2017-May 2021 estimates. See North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at BLS for details.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS 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. OEWS data are available at

The OEWS 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. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2022 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2022, November 2021, May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, and November 2019. The unweighted sampled employment of 80 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 65.4 percent based on establishments and 62.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,386 establishments with a response rate of 68 percent. For more information about OEWS 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.

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 Olympia-Tumwater, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Thurston County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for business and financial operations occupations, Olympia metropolitan area, May 2022
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Business and financial operations occupations

12,250 1.6 36.92 76,790

Buyers and purchasing agents

570 1.5 34.34 71,420

Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

860 3.7 32.47 67,540

Compliance officers

940 3.2 36.40 75,710

Cost estimators

250 1.4 38.98 81,080

Human resources specialists

1,160 1.7 35.02 72,830

Labor relations specialists

130 2.6 48.08 100,000


30 0.2 36.58 76,090

Project management specialists

390 0.6 49.46 102,890

Management analysts

1,880 2.9 38.81 80,730

Meeting, convention, and event planners

70 0.7 27.45 57,100


70 1.0 31.76 66,060

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

410 5.4 30.50 63,450

Training and development specialists

300 1.0 37.85 78,730

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

500 0.8 33.98 70,680

Business operations specialists, all other

1,320 1.5 36.99 76,940

Accountants and auditors

1,020 0.9 41.25 85,810

Property appraisers and assessors

50 1.0 38.39 79,860

Budget analysts

200 5.2 39.54 82,240

Financial and investment analysts

820 3.5 31.61 65,740

Personal financial advisors

140 0.6 57.11 118,780

Insurance underwriters

120 1.4 33.17 68,990

Loan officers

320 1.1 42.25 87,870

Financial specialists, all other

80 0.8 41.21 85,710

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Olympia-Tumwater, WA 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 are 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.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 22, 2023