KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics of last year’s average earnings shows that occupational hourly workers across multiple employment groups in the Knoxville metropolitan area were making below the national average.

The data set highlights 22 major occupational groups such as management, business, education, arts, healthcare, food, sales, office/administrative, construction, transportation, farming, fishing, forestry, legal, engineering and service, to name a few.

According to a May 2021 set, made available on June 15, workers in the Knoxville area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.70, which is about 15% below the national average of $28.01. This is reflected in 21 of the 22 major occupational groups.

A news release with the data set states that when compared to the nationwide distribution, Knoxville area employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, production and food preparation and service related.

Below is the data set shared by the U.S. BLS. Knoxville is part of the agency’s Southeast region. The statistics were shared from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, which is a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

Occupational Employment and Wages in Knoxville — May 2021

Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesKnoxvilleUnited StatesKnoxvillePercent difference (1)
Total, all occupations100.0100.0$28.01$23.70*-15
Business and financial operations6.44.7*39.7232.41*-18
Computer and mathematical3.32.1*48.0136.79*-23
Architecture and engineering1.72.3*44.1041.89*-5
Life, physical, and social science0.91.2*38.8133.38*-14
Community and social service1.61.3*25.9421.20*-18
Educational instruction and library5.84.7*29.8825.59*-14
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media1.31.1*31.7824.15*-24
Healthcare practitioners and technical6.26.9*43.8036.40*-17
Healthcare support4.73.7*16.0214.51*-9
Protective service2.42.0*25.6821.05*-18
Food preparation and serving related8.09.0*14.1611.85*-16
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance2.93.6*16.2313.62*-16
Personal care and service1.81.7*16.1714.19*-12
Sales and related9.48.9*22.1518.36*-17
Office and administrative support13.014.8*20.8818.69*-10
Farming, fishing, and forestry0.30.1*16.7016.59-1
Construction and extraction4.24.3*26.8722.62*-16
Installation, maintenance, and repair4.04.025.6623.13*-10
Transportation and material moving9.09.3*19.8817.93*-10
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Knoxville, TN 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.