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News Release Information

Thursday, June 23, 2022

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale — May 2021

Workers in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.22 in May 2021, 3 percent below the nationwide average of $28.01, 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 12 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and management. Six groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including food preparation and serving related, healthcare practitioners and technical, and personal care and service.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Phoenix area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, business and financial operations, and construction and extraction. Ten groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including production; educational instruction and library, and life, physical, and social science. (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $28.01 $27.22* -3


6.3 6.6* 59.31 54.65* -8

Business and financial operations

6.4 7.3* 39.72 35.62* -10

Computer and mathematical

3.3 3.8* 48.01 44.98* -6

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.6* 44.10 44.00 0

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 38.81 36.00* -7

Community and social service

1.6 1.4* 25.94 24.30* -6


0.8 0.9 54.38 45.64* -16

Educational instruction and library

5.8 4.5* 29.88 25.30* -15

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.0* 31.78 26.97* -15

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 5.9* 43.80 45.24* 3

Healthcare support

4.7 4.6 16.02 16.44* 3

Protective service

2.4 2.5* 25.68 23.53* -8

Food preparation and serving related

8.0 8.1 14.16 16.73* 18

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.6* 16.23 16.19 0

Personal care and service

1.8 1.7* 16.17 17.60* 9

Sales and related

9.4 9.2 22.15 22.33 1

Office and administrative support

13.0 15.4* 20.88 20.55* -2

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 16.70 17.79* 7

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.7* 26.87 24.63* -8

Installation, maintenance, and repair

4.0 4.0 25.66 24.91* -3


6.0 4.1* 20.71 20.63 0

Transportation and material moving

9.0 9.3* 19.88 20.37* 2

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 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. Phoenix had 326,500 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 15.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 13.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $20.55, significantly below the national wage of $20.88.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included customer service representatives (92,970), general office clerks (30,280), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (25,160). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants and first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers, with mean hourly wages of $31.53 and $29.45, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($14.53) and couriers and messengers ($15.32). (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 Phoenix area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, loan interviewers and clerks were employed at 2.8 times the national rate in Phoenix, and customer service representatives, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks had a location quotient of 1.0 in Phoenix, 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 Office of Economic Opportunity.

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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area included 7,457 establishments with a response rate of 73 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 Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Maricopa County and Pinal 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, Phoenix metropolitan area, May 2021
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and administrative support occupations

326,500 1.2 $20.55 $42,740

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

23,560 1.1 29.45 61,250

Switchboard operators, including answering service

160 0.2 15.84 32,940

Telephone operators

40 0.7 16.41 34,130

Bill and account collectors

6,100 1.9 19.77 41,120

Billing and posting clerks

8,640 1.3 20.22 42,070

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

21,700 1.0 21.64 45,020

Payroll and timekeeping clerks

2,630 1.2 22.72 47,270

Procurement clerks

1,160 1.3 22.23 46,230


3,360 0.6 17.86 37,140

Financial clerks, all other

420 0.9 23.95 49,820

Brokerage clerks

490 0.8 26.41 54,930

Correspondence clerks

(5) (5) 22.22 46,210

Court, municipal, and license clerks

1,610 0.7 21.28 44,260

Credit authorizers, checkers, and clerks

540 2.1 24.42 50,800

Customer service representatives

92,970 2.2 18.74 38,970

Eligibility interviewers, government programs

2,520 1.1 18.11 37,680

File clerks

1,680 1.3 19.19 39,910

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

2,610 0.8 14.53 30,230

Interviewers, except eligibility and loan

1,740 0.7 17.72 36,850

Library assistants, clerical

860 0.7 16.59 34,500

Loan interviewers and clerks

9,990 2.8 22.66 47,130

New accounts clerks

80 0.1 25.34 52,700

Order clerks

1,110 0.6 17.80 37,030

Human resources assistants, except payroll and timekeeping

1,670 1.1 21.39 44,490

Receptionists and information clerks

16,880 1.1 16.15 33,600

Reservation and transportation ticket agents and travel clerks

1,660 1.1 19.88 41,350

Information and record clerks, all other

3,010 1.3 21.77 45,270

Cargo and freight agents

1,050 0.8 22.06 45,890

Couriers and messengers

640 0.6 15.32 31,860

Public safety telecommunicators

1,200 0.8 23.60 49,090

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

3,370 1.2 20.74 43,150

Meter readers, utilities

480 1.3 23.62 49,130

Postal service clerks

560 0.5 27.10 56,360

Postal service mail carriers

3,690 0.7 26.85 55,840

Postal service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators

1,560 0.9 24.06 50,040

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

7,230 1.3 24.21 50,350

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

12,710 1.1 17.87 37,170

Weighers, measurers, checkers, and samplers, recordkeeping

550 0.7 20.45 42,540

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

3,950 0.6 31.53 65,580

Legal secretaries and administrative assistants

2,210 1.0 22.64 47,090

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

11,420 1.2 19.09 39,700

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

25,160 0.9 19.83 41,240

Data entry keyers

3,070 1.4 17.86 37,160

Word processors and typists

120 0.2 21.45 44,610

Desktop publishers

70 0.6 19.92 41,430

Insurance claims and policy processing clerks

5,780 1.8 20.10 41,800

Mail clerks and mail machine operators, except postal service

1,000 1.0 16.71 34,750

Office clerks, general

30,280 0.8 20.37 42,360

Office machine operators, except computer

840 1.7 16.43 34,180

Proofreaders and copy markers

120 1.5 19.04 39,600

Statistical assistants

50 0.6 23.15 48,160

Office and administrative support workers, all other

1,850 0.8 22.76 47,350

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, 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 23, 2022