skip to content
Primary navigation

Metro Occupational Mixes

by Dave Senf
September 2015

PDF of article

Occupational concentrations vary from one region of the country to the next. Here's a look at how the job mix in Minnesota metros stacks up with the rest of the U.S.

Anybody who has visited the Elkhart-Goshen metro area in Indiana probably noticed a lot of manufacturing companies. Because of the high concentration of manufacturers, 35 percent of that area's workers are employed in production occupations like machining, tool and die making, and assembling. That's the highest share of production jobs of any metro area in the country and almost six times the national average for metros.

The San Jose-Santa Clara metro area, also known as California's Silicon Valley, enjoys a disproportionately high share of employment in computer and mathematical jobs. Employment in that field accounts for nearly 12 percent of all jobs in the San Jose-Santa Clara area, almost four times higher than the U.S. metro average.

The metro area with the highest percent of employment in food preparation and serving occupations isn't in New York or Las Vegas, as some might expect. That distinction belongs to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where 18 percent of all jobs are in food preparation and serving. That's twice the U.S. metro average.

Minnesota is home to a metro area (Rochester) with the nation's highest proportion of health care practitioners and technical jobs. Rochester's health care practitioners and technical workers account for 15.9 percent of the area's workforce, which is almost three times the U.S. metro average of 5.8 percent.1

The abundance of high-earning jobs in Rochester's health care industry - physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and pharmacists - helped to boost the area's average annual paycheck to $48,600, which was slightly higher than the U.S. metro average of $47,230 and 60th highest among 395 metro areas last year. (See Table 1 for average annual wages of other Minnesota metro areas, as well as the top and bottom nationally ranked metro area average annual wages.)


Table 1

May 2014 Metropolitan Area Average Annual Wage and Salary Estimates

1

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA

75,770

2

San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA

69,350

3

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

65,890

4

Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA

64,010

5

Framingham, MA NECTA Division

62,520

6

Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT

61,650

7

New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ

61,640

8

Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD

60,910

9

Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA

60,370

10

Trenton-Ewing, NJ

60,020

30

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

52,080

60

Rochester, MN

48,600

Minnesota Statewide Average

48,310

U.S. Metro Average

48,575

U.S. Average

47,230

179

Fargo, ND-MN

42,180

208

St. Cloud, MN

41,620

218

Duluth, MN-WI

41,400

222

Mankato-North Mankato, MN

41,340

280

Grand Forks, ND-MN

39,980

290

La Crosse, WI-MN

39,570

U.S. Nonmetro Average

38,762

Minnesota Nonmetro Average

38,260

338

Elkhart-Goshen, IN

37,680

391

Gadsden, AL

34,690

392

McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX

33,260

393

Hot Springs, AR

32,880

394

Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC

32,820

395

Brownsville-Harlingen, TX

32,640

Source: Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2014


Table 2 shows how the occupational mix of Minnesota's five metro areas (as well as nonmetro Minnesota) differ from the average U.S. metro mix and how occupational group wages in each area compare to U.S. wages.2

In the occupational mix column, a value above 100 percent indicates metro employment concentration in that occupational group is higher than the national norm. For example, the 130 percent value for health care practitioners and technicians in Duluth-Superior means this metro area has a 30 percent higher concentration in this occupational group relative to the average U.S. metro area. The share of Duluth-Superior jobs in production occupations, on the other hand, is lower than the average U.S. metro area, as indicated by the 70 percent value. The area has 70 percent of the production jobs relative to the average U.S. metro area.

The relative wage column compares each metro area's average occupational wage to the corresponding average U.S. occupational wage. The average management wage in Duluth-Superior is 78 percent of the average U.S. metro management wage, while the average wage for construction and extraction workers in the area is 14 percentage points higher than the average wage in this occupational group for all U.S. metro areas.

The shaded green values in Table 2 highlight Minnesota's metro area occupational groups that either have a higher share of employment compared with the average U.S. metro area or have wages higher than the average U.S. metro area.

The occupational groups are listed from the highest- to lowest-paying based on average U.S. metro wages in Table 2. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area average annual wage of $52,080 in 2014 was 30th highest in 2014, due in part to MSP having a higher concentration of employment in higher-paying occupational groups and in part to higher-than-average wages in middle- or lower-paying occupational groups.


Table 2

Occupation Mix

Relative Wage

Occupation Mix

Relative Wage

Occupation Mix

Relative Wage

Duluth, MN-WI

Mankato-North Mankato, MN

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI

Management (High)

89%

78%

94%

82%

136%

104%

Legal (High)

56%

81%

50%

73%

107%

102%

Computer and Mathematical (High)

58%

79%

58%

70%

147%

98%

Architecture and Engineering (High)

90%

84%

68%

77%

121%

95%

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (High)

130%

92%

122%

92%

91%

108%

Business and Financial Operations (High)

71%

81%

74%

84%

140%

97%

Life, Physical, and Social Science (High)

145%

84%

94%

82%

110%

104%

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (High)

69%

70%

104%

72%

115%

92%

Education, Training, and Library (Middle)

95%

92%

110%

109%

86%

107%

Construction and Extraction (Middle)

110%

114%

73%

95%

75%

123%

Community and Social Service (Middle)

217%

88%

252%

102%

115%

103%

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair (Middle)

123%

104%

97%

94%

79%

106%

Protective Service (Middle)

80%

100%

42%

104%

66%

107%

Sales and Related (Middle)

94%

73%

99%

79%

96%

113%

Office and Administrative Support (Low)

94%

93%

95%

91%

96%

109%

Production (Low)

70%

113%

133%

103%

108%

105%

Transportation and Material Moving (Low)

90%

103%

82%

86%

82%

112%

Healthcare Support (Low)

149%

97%

133%

94%

96%

110%

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance (Low)

103%

92%

118%

98%

85%

105%

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry (Low)

22%

139%

49%

130%

15%

130%

Personal Care and Service (Low)

160%

90%

91%

97%

152%

100%

Food Preparation and Serving Related (Low)

110%

91%

113%

93%

90%

97%

Rochester, MN

St. Cloud, MN

Nonmetro Minnesota

Management (High)

90%

89%

94%

81%

90%

74%

Legal (High)

49%

77%

53%

78%

42%

65%

Computer and Mathematical (High)

168%

100%

61%

76%

35%

78%

Architecture and Engineering (High)

72%

88%

42%

77%

72%

81%

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical (High)

273%

96%

122%

105%

94%

85%

Business and Financial Operations (High)

84%

84%

72%

80%

61%

77%

Life, Physical, and Social Science (High)

178%

87%

42%

96%

77%

79%

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (High)

77%

93%

83%

73%

62%

72%

Education, Training, and Library (Middle)

77%

91%

98%

90%

110%

85%

Construction and Extraction (Middle)

83%

108%

115%

104%

105%

93%

Community and Social Service (Middle)

118%

107%

99%

105%

133%

88%

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair (Middle)

78%

98%

109%

93%

112%

94%

Protective Service (Middle)

52%

103%

36%

105%

71%

90%

Sales and Related (Middle)

74%

84%

94%

83%

93%

78%

Office and Administrative Support (Low)

86%

102%

99%

92%

87%

90%

Production (Low)

76%

103%

169%

95%

181%

96%

Transportation and Material Moving (Low)

81%

96%

106%

98%

107%

95%

Healthcare Support (Low)

199%

115%

112%

101%

139%

90%

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance (Low)

90%

106%

102%

104%

109%

98%

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry (Low)

35%

114%

63%

142%

123%

124%

Personal Care and Service (Low)

117%

97%

130%

94%

124%

93%

Food Preparation and Serving Related (Low)

84%

96%

90%

92%

101%

90%

1Occupational data used here is available for 395 metro areas from the May 2014 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) dataset available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

2 In addition to estimating occupational employment and wages for Minnesota metro areas, the OES program estimates occupational employment and wages for four nonmetro balance of the state areas. The four balance of the state estimates have been aggregated into one nonmetro Minnesota, which is basically all counties in Minnesota not included in a metropolitan statistical area.

back to top