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News Release Information

Thursday, July 14, 2022

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Occupational Employment and Wages in San Diego-Carlsbad — May 2021

Workers in the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $32.31 in May 2021, about 15 percent above 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 higher than their respective national averages in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, legal, and architecture and engineering.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, San Diego area employment was more highly concentrated in 11 of the 22 occupational groups, including management; architecture and engineering; and life, physical, and social science. Seven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, office and administrative support, and production. (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $28.01 $32.31* 15


6.3 7.6* 59.31 63.47* 7

Business and financial operations

6.4 7.3* 39.72 40.66* 2

Computer and mathematical

3.3 4.0* 48.01 52.82* 10

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.8* 44.10 51.09* 16

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 1.9* 38.81 42.49* 9

Community and social service

1.6 1.7* 25.94 28.30* 9


0.8 0.9 54.38 63.64* 17

Educational instruction and library

5.8 5.8 29.88 33.97* 14

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.2 31.78 31.76 0

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 5.7* 43.80 56.32* 29

Healthcare support

4.7 5.0* 16.02 17.65* 10

Protective service

2.4 2.4 25.68 30.21* 18

Food preparation and serving related

8.0 8.5* 14.16 16.73* 18

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.1* 16.23 18.14* 12

Personal care and service

1.8 2.1* 16.17 18.35* 13

Sales and related

9.4 9.1* 22.15 24.35* 10

Office and administrative support

13.0 11.7* 20.88 22.95* 10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 16.70 18.65* 12

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.5* 26.87 30.88* 15

Installation, maintenance, and repair

4.0 3.2* 25.66 28.04* 9


6.0 4.8* 20.71 21.84* 5

Transportation and material moving

9.0 6.4* 19.88 19.97 0

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 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—management—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. San Diego had 105,500 jobs in management, accounting for 7.6 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $63.47, significantly above the national wage of $59.31.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the management group included general and operations managers (25,350), financial managers (7,530), and sales managers (7,250). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were chief executives and natural sciences managers, with mean hourly wages of $101.36 and $95.06, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were education and childcare administrators, preschool and daycare ($27.57) and food service managers ($31.71). (Detailed data for the management 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 San Diego area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the management group. For instance, natural sciences managers were employed at 3.1 times the national rate in San Diego, and property, real estate, and community association managers, at 2.3 times the U.S. average. Medical and health services managers had a location quotient of 1.0 in San Diego, 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 California Employment Development Department.

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 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 5,976 establishments with a response rate of 53 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 San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes San Diego 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 management occupations, San Diego metropolitan area, May 2021
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Management occupations

105,500 1.2 $63.47 $132,030

Chief executives

3,040 1.5 101.36 210,830

General and operations managers

25,350 0.9 58.95 122,610


110 0.3 (6) 73,940

Advertising and promotions managers

140 0.6 63.25 131,550

Marketing managers

3,070 1.1 73.02 151,890

Sales managers

7,250 1.6 62.74 130,510

Public relations managers

650 1.1 62.74 130,510

Fundraising managers

180 0.8 64.50 134,160

Administrative services managers

2,620 1.2 51.06 106,200

Facilities managers

1,420 1.4 50.01 104,030

Computer and information systems managers

7,220 1.5 83.51 173,700

Financial managers

7,530 1.1 76.55 159,210

Industrial production managers

2,460 1.3 64.18 133,490

Purchasing managers

720 1.1 64.16 133,450

Transportation, storage, and distribution managers

1,310 0.9 50.60 105,240

Compensation and benefits managers

170 1.1 67.68 140,780

Human resources managers

2,080 1.3 69.20 143,930

Training and development managers

470 1.3 66.67 138,680

Construction managers

3,510 1.3 55.24 114,900

Education and childcare administrators, preschool and daycare

690 1.2 27.57 57,340

Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

1,810 0.7 (6) 126,790

Education administrators, postsecondary

1,340 0.9 59.85 124,490

Education administrators, all other

(5) (5) 53.15 110,540

Architectural and engineering managers

3,890 2.1 84.26 175,260

Food service managers

3,070 1.5 31.71 65,960

Gambling managers

80 2.3 51.36 106,830

Entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling

470 2.7 32.09 66,760

Lodging managers

400 1.1 35.95 74,770

Medical and health services managers

4,350 1.0 60.69 126,220

Natural sciences managers

2,290 3.1 95.06 197,720

Postmasters and mail superintendents

40 0.3 45.41 94,460

Property, real estate, and community association managers

5,280 2.3 31.84 66,240

Social and community service managers

1,960 1.3 36.92 76,790

Funeral home managers

50 0.4 40.28 83,780

Personal service managers, all other

230 3.2 24.43 50,820

Managers, all other

8,630 1.8 72.93 151,700

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 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, July 14, 2022