Occupational Employment and Wages in Columbia, Mo. – May 2012
Workers in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.37 in May 2012, about 17 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, no wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 22 major occupational groups. Eighteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; management; computer and mathematical; and transportation and material moving.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, food preparation and serving related, and education, training, and library. Conversely, six groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production, sales and related, and business and financial operations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Columbia||United States||Columbia||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner and technical
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
One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Columbia had 7,820 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 9.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $30.06, measurably below the national wage of $35.35.
With employment of 2,860, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (730) and pharmacy technicians (480). Among the higher paying jobs were pharmacists and veterinarians, with mean hourly wages of $57.44 and $38.99, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($12.89) and medical and clinical laboratory technicians ($15.50). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_17860.htm.)
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 Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, family and general practitioners were employed at 6.1 times the national rate in Columbia, and veterinary technologists and technicians, at 2.8 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, pharmacists had a location quotient of 1.3 in Columbia, 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 Missouri Department of Economic Development.
With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc.
The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm .
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,132 establishments with a response rate of 70 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
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 Columbia, Mo. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Boone and Howard Counties.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro7/home.htm. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/methods_statement.pdf. Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request – Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Family and General Practitioners
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: July 17, 2013