Occupational Pay Relatives news release text
Technical Contact: USDL: 08-1015 (202) 691-6199 NCSinfo@bls.gov Media Contact: FOR RELEASE: 10:00 AM EDT (202) 691-5902 FRIDAY, JULY 25, 2008 Internet Address: http://www.bls.gov/ncs OCCUPATIONAL PAY COMPARISONS AMONG METROPOLITAN AREAS, 2007 Average pay in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA metropolitan area was 19 percent above the national average in 2007, the highest among metropolitan areas studied by the National Compensation Survey (NCS), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. In contrast, pay was lowest in the Brownsville-Harlingen, TX metropolitan area with a pay relative of 76, meaning Brownsville workers earned an average of 76 cents for every dollar earned by workers nationwide. Using data from the NCS, pay relatives--a means of assessing pay differences--are available for each of the 9 major occupational groups within 77 metropolitan areas, as well as averaged across all occupations for each area. (See table 1.) Pay relatives calculated for all occupations were significantly different from the national average in 67 of the 77 areas. Table A below lists higher and lower paying metropolitan areas among those studied in the NCS. Table B provides higher paying metropolitan area for each of nine major occupational groups. In addition, area-to-area comparisons have been calculated for all 77 metropolitan areas and will soon be available on the BLS website at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ocs/payrel.htm. Table A. Metropolitan area pay relative rankings (of 77 metropolitan areas surveyed) Rank Metropolitan Area Pay Relative 1. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 119 2. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA 115 3. Salinas, CA 114 4. Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT 113 5. Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH 112 75. Corpus Christi, TX 87 76. Johnstown, PA 85 77. Brownsville-Harlingen, TX 76 A pay relative is a calculation of pay--wages, salaries, commissions, and production bonuses--for a given metropolitan area relative to the nation as a whole. The calculation controls for differences among areas in occupational composition, establishment and occupational characteristics, and the fact that data are collected for areas at different times during the year. Simple pay comparisons calculating the ratio of the average pay for an area versus the entire United States in percentage terms would not control for interarea differences in occupational composition and other factors, which may have a significant effect on pay relatives. More information on pay relative controls and calculations is available in the Technical Note. Table B. Metropolitan area pay relative rankings for nine major occupational groups (of 77 metropolitan areas surveyed) Major Occupational Group Rank and Metropolitan Area Pay Relative Management, business, and 1. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA 115 financial 2. Salinas, CA 114 Professional and related 1. Salinas, CA 120 2. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 118 Service 1. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 124 2. Hartford-West Hartford-Willimantic, CT 121 Sales and related 1. Salinas, CA 128 2. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 124 Office and administrative 1. San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA 121 support 2. Boston-Worchester-Manchester, MA-NH 115 2. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA 115 Construction and extraction 1. New York-Newark-Bridgeport, NY-NJ-CT-PA 133 2. Chicago-Naperville-Michigan City, IL-IN-WI 131 Installation, maintenance, 1. Boston-Worcester-Manchester, MA-NH 115 and repair 1. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Truckee, CA-NV 115 Production 1. Detroit-Warren-Flint, MI 117 1. Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA 117 Transportation and material 1. Springfield, MA 113 moving 2. Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia, WA 112 The pay relative for construction and extraction occupations in the New York-Newark-Bridgeport area was 133, meaning the pay in the New York metropolitan area for that occupational group averaged 33 percent more than the national average pay for that occupational group. By contrast, the pay relative for workers in construction and extraction in the Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas area was 66, meaning pay for workers in those occupations averaged 34 percent less than the national average. Using pay relative data To assist data users in analyzing these data, tests have been conducted to determine whether differences between each pay relative and the pay relative for the nation as a whole are statistically significant (that is, the pay for the given occupation in that area is too different from the national average to be accounted for by the survey sample). Similar tests are conducted for the area-to-area comparisons. In Table 1, statistically significant pay relatives are denoted with an asterisk (*). More information on significance testing is available in the Technical Note. Yearly differences in area and occupational group differences in pay relatives do not infer changes in underlying economic conditions.
- Table 1. Pay relatives for major occupational groups in metropolitan areas
- Occupational Pay Relatives explanatory note
- HTML version of the entire news release