NASHVILLE – Tennesseans took home a little more money in their paychecks last year, according to the latest data released recently by the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The median wage earned for all Tennessee occupations increased by 3.16 percent between May 2016 and May 2017 to $33,870.
“It’s always a positive to see wages increase, by any amount,” said TDLWD Commissioner Burns Phillips. “The state’s economy is thriving and more money in a person’s paycheck is going to help that continue.”
The largest occupational groups in the state were office and administrative, sales and related, food preparation and serving, transportation and material moving, healthcare practitioners and healthcare support and production occupations.
Health care practitioners and technical occupations employed 193,000 workers, while health care support occupations had employment of 75,000 workers. Both groups combined made up nearly 9.2 percent of Tennessee’s jobs, which is greater than the national average of 9 percent. Annual median wages for health care practitioners and technical occupations, the largest of the two health care occupations groups, varied within the state from $60,200 in Memphis to $46,360 in Morristown.
Assemblers and fabricators led the production occupations group in Tennessee. The Cleveland area had the highest proportion of production workers to total employment at 20.88 percent.
The latest statistics showed the value of having educational or postsecondary training. The median annual wage for someone with a bachelor’s degree was $60,830, almost twice the average salary of $33,550 for a person with only a high school diploma or equivalent. The difference in annual wages for someone with some college, versus no formal education, on average is $11,000 a year.
“For nearly eight years Gov. [Bill] Haslam has championed education in the state of Tennessee and this is why it is the pathway to a better life for our citizens,” Phillips said. “The Governor’s Drive to 55 initiative with the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs helps make a post-secondary education a reality for nearly anyone looking to better their lives with a degree or certificate.”
The Occupational Employment Statistics program provides employment and wage estimates for more than 700 occupations in Tennessee and various sub-state areas. Additional data for specific areas in Tennessee are available at tn.gov/workforce/jobs-and-education.html.