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News Release Information

Thursday, June 01, 2023

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  • (415) 625-2270

Occupational Employment and Wages in Tucson — May 2022

Workers in the Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.02 in May 2022, 9 percent below 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 lower than their respective national averages in 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; management; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. Two groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages: food preparation and serving related and also architecture and engineering.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Tucson area employment was more highly concentrated in 13 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, food preparation and serving related, and architecture and engineering. Six groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, business and financial operations, and transportation and material moving. (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $29.76 $27.02* -9


6.7 7.2* 63.08 50.83* -19

Business and financial operations

6.5 5.4* 41.39 35.77* -14

Computer and mathematical

3.4 3.4 51.99 46.19* -11

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.4* 45.52 46.72* 3

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 1.2* 40.21 32.46* -19

Community and social service

1.6 2.2* 26.81 22.60* -16


0.8 0.7 59.87 42.88* -28

Educational instruction and library

5.7 5.7 30.41 26.86* -12

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.0* 36.78 27.29* -26

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 6.5* 46.52 43.21* -7

Healthcare support

4.6 4.9* 17.10 16.71* -2

Protective service

2.3 2.8* 25.97 26.01 0

Food preparation and serving related

8.5 9.5* 15.45 16.99* 10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.0* 17.26 16.18* -6

Personal care and service

1.9 2.0* 17.41 17.38 0

Sales and related

8.9 8.1* 24.22 22.41* -7

Office and administrative support

12.6 13.8* 21.90 20.03* -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 18.21 16.96* -7

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.3* 28.08 23.47* -16

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.5* 26.77 24.34* -9


5.9 3.1* 21.81 21.45* -2

Transportation and material moving

9.2 8.1* 21.12 19.46* -8

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Tucson, AZ 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—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Tucson had 52,370 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 13.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 12.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $20.03, significantly below the national wage of $21.90.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included customer service representatives (11,990), general office clerks (6,660), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (4,410). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants and postal service mail carriers, with mean hourly wages of $29.43 and $27.62, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($14.27) and gambling cage workers ($14.92). (Detailed data for the office and administrative support 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 Tucson area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, eligibility interviewers, government programs were employed at 2.4 times the national rate in Tucson, and customer service representatives, at 1.6 times the U.S. average. Billing and posting clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in Tucson, 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 Arizona Department of Administration.

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 Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,652 establishments with a response rate of 70 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 Tucson, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Pima 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 office and administrative support occupations, Tucson metropolitan area, May 2022
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and administrative support occupations

52,370 1.1 $20.03 $41,660

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

3,660 1.0 27.35 56,890

Switchboard operators, including answering service

60 0.5 18.49 38,460

Telephone operators

30 3.3 18.13 37,710

Bill and account collectors

720 1.4 19.85 41,290

Billing and posting clerks

1,150 1.0 20.38 42,390

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

2,950 0.7 21.61 44,940

Gambling cage workers

110 3.6 14.92 31,030

Payroll and timekeeping clerks

320 0.8 21.82 45,380

Procurement clerks

160 1.0 22.93 47,690


860 1.0 17.85 37,130

Financial clerks, all other

40 0.4 21.65 45,030

Court, municipal, and license clerks

380 0.9 21.76 45,260

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks

30 0.8 20.09 41,790

Customer service representatives

11,990 1.6 17.76 36,940

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

920 2.4 19.52 40,600

File clerks

220 1.0 17.84 37,100

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

890 1.4 14.27 29,670

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

290 0.7 18.36 38,190

Library assistants, clerical

350 1.7 15.08 31,360

Loan interviewers and clerks

460 0.7 22.19 46,160

Order clerks

50 0.2 20.11 41,830

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

250 1.0 20.88 43,430

Receptionists and information clerks

3,240 1.3 15.78 32,830

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

240 0.8 18.20 37,850

Information and record clerks, all other

830 2.2 20.65 42,940

Cargo and freight agents

100 0.4 18.61 38,720

Couriers and messengers

100 0.5 17.23 35,830

Public safety telecommunicators

210 0.9 23.18 48,210

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

610 1.2 19.43 40,410

Meter readers, utilities

70 1.3 23.23 48,330

Postal service clerks

160 0.8 27.47 57,130

Postal service mail carriers

890 1.1 27.62 57,450

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

260 0.8 24.24 50,410

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

1,260 1.3 25.51 53,050

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

2,400 1.1 18.55 38,580

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

700 0.6 29.43 61,200

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

380 0.9 19.44 40,430

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

1,730 1.0 18.55 38,580

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

4,410 0.9 19.49 40,530

Data entry keyers

380 1.0 17.53 36,460

Desktop publishers

(5) (5) 22.93 47,690

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

690 1.2 19.55 40,670

Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

140 0.8 17.23 35,830

Office clerks, general

6,660 1.0 20.55 42,740

Office machine operators, except computer

60 0.8 15.50 32,250

Office and administrative support workers, all other

710 1.6 22.21 46,200

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Tucson, AZ 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.
(5) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 01, 2023