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News Release Information

Thursday, June 23, 2022

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Augusta-Richmond County — May 2021

Workers in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.22 in May 2021, about 17 percent below the nationwide average of $28.01, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Augusta area employment was more highly concentrated in 10 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, construction and extraction, and production. Ten groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations, computer and mathematical, and office and administrative support. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Augusta metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2021
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Augusta United States Augusta Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $28.01 $23.22* -17


6.3 5.2* 59.31 48.08* -19

Business and financial operations

6.4 4.4* 39.72 33.45* -16

Computer and mathematical

3.3 1.6* 48.01 38.93* -19

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.0* 44.10 42.37* -4

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 1.0* 38.81 34.05* -12

Community and social service

1.6 1.1* 25.94 24.33* -6


0.8 0.5* 54.38 33.27* -39

Educational instruction and library

5.8 6.0* 29.88 26.14* -13

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8* 31.78 25.88* -19

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 8.2* 43.80 36.03* -18

Healthcare support

4.7 4.2* 16.02 14.45* -10

Protective service

2.4 3.0* 25.68 18.96* -26

Food preparation and serving related

8.0 8.8* 14.16 11.59* -18

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.7* 16.23 13.43* -17

Personal care and service

1.8 1.8 16.17 12.70* -21

Sales and related

9.4 9.5 22.15 16.07* -27

Office and administrative support

13.0 11.7* 20.88 17.88* -14

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 16.70 19.19* 15

Construction and extraction

4.2 6.1* 26.87 26.04* -3

Installation, maintenance, and repair

4.0 4.3* 25.66 23.62* -8


6.0 7.7* 20.71 20.79 0

Transportation and material moving

9.0 9.3* 19.88 17.75* -11

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 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, healthcare practitioners and technical, was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Augusta had 18,280 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $36.03, significantly below the national wage of $43.80.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (6,710) and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (1,580). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were family medicine physicians, with a mean hourly wage of $104.43. At the lower end of the wage scale were emergency medical technicians ($15.17) and ophthalmic medical technicians ($15.92). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical 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 Augusta area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, surgical assistants were employed at 7.7 times the national rate in Augusta, and physician assistants, at 4.0 times the U.S. average. Veterinary technologists and technicians had a location quotient of 1.0 in Augusta, 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 Georgia Department of Labor and the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

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

With the May 2021 estimates release, the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program has implemented a new model-based (MB3) estimation method. For more information, see the May 2021 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement at and the Monthly Labor Review article at OEWS estimates for the years 2015-19 were recalculated using the new estimation method and are available as research estimates at

The May 2021 OEWS estimates are also the first estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. To improve data quality, the OEWS program aggregates some occupations to the SOC broad occupation level or as OEWS-specific combinations of 2018 SOC detailed occupations.

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 2021 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, and November 2018. The unweighted sampled employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 62 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 67.2 percent based on establishments and 64.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,407 establishments with a response rate of 69 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 Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Burke County, GA; Columbia County, GA; Lincoln County, GA; McDuffie County, GA; Richmond County, GA; Aiken County, SC; and Edgefield County, SC.

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 healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, Augusta metropolitan area, May 2021
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

18,280 1.3 $36.03 $74,940


50 1.0 27.85 57,930

Dentists, general

160 0.9 65.55 136,340

Dentists, all other specialists

40 4.8 64.70 134,570

Dietitians and nutritionists

110 1.1 27.00 56,160


50 0.8 59.57 123,910


610 1.2 55.28 114,980

Physician assistants

840 4.0 37.43 77,860

Occupational therapists

260 1.3 38.14 79,330

Physical therapists

410 1.2 42.46 88,320

Recreational therapists

60 2.2 23.06 47,960

Respiratory therapists

260 1.3 27.64 57,500

Speech-language pathologists

210 0.9 37.58 78,170


110 0.9 45.56 94,760

Registered nurses

6,710 1.4 34.82 72,420

Nurse anesthetists

40 0.6 77.36 160,910

Nurse practitioners

450 1.2 50.72 105,490

Family medicine physicians

90 0.5 104.43 217,210

Pediatricians, general

30 0.6 75.06 156,130

Physicians, all other

560 1.4 119.68 248,940

Dental hygienists

360 1.1 32.14 66,860

Healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners, all other

80 1.8 53.44 111,160

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

560 1.1 23.03 47,900

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

160 1.8 30.88 64,230

Diagnostic medical sonographers

150 1.2 29.88 62,150

Nuclear medicine technologists

50 1.9 30.18 62,770

Radiologic technologists and technicians

440 1.3 26.39 54,890

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

80 1.3 30.07 62,550

Emergency medical technicians

400 1.6 15.17 31,550


210 1.3 19.06 39,640

Pharmacy technicians

800 1.2 16.80 34,950

Surgical technologists

100 0.6 22.29 46,360

Veterinary technologists and technicians

180 1.0 16.24 33,780

Ophthalmic medical technicians

90 0.9 15.92 33,110

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

1,580 1.6 22.12 46,010

Medical records specialists

390 1.4 22.13 46,030

Opticians, dispensing

120 1.0 19.61 40,780

Health technologists and technicians, all other

230 1.0 20.81 43,270

Health information technologists and medical registrars

100 1.7 21.17 44,030

Athletic trainers

70 1.7 (6) 50,330

Surgical assistants

210 7.7 20.17 41,940

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

(5) (5) 26.80 55,750

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 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.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 23, 2022