Article

August 2013

Wage estimates by job characteristic: NCS and OES program data

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Table 1. Areas used to calculate National Compensation Survey proportions for characteristics
Area
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Gainesville, GA–AL, Combined Statistical Area (CSA)
Boston–Worcester–Manchester, MA–NH, CSA
Chicago–Naperville–Michigan City, IL–IN–WI, CSA
Dallas–Fort Worth, TX, CSA
Detroit–Warren–Flint, MI, CSA
Houston–Baytown–Huntsville, TX, CSA
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Riverside, CA, CSA
Miami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Minneapolis–St. Paul–St. Cloud, MN–WI, CSA
New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA, CSA
Philadelphia–Camden–Vineland, PA–NJ–DE–MD, CSA
Phoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ, MSA
San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA, CSA
Seattle–Tacoma–Olympia, WA, CSA
Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia, DC–MD–VA–WV, CSA
Balance of New England census division
Balance of Middle Atlantic census division
Balance of South Atlantic census division
Balance of East South Central census division
Balance of West South Central census division
Balance of East North Central census division
Balance of West North Central census division
Balance of Mountain census division
Balance of Pacific census division
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even with the foregoing broad definitions of area, the NCS might still contain few, if any, observations in the area–occupation–interval category over which to calculate the proportions for the characteristic. If there are fewer than three NCS observations available, the category is broadened until it contains at least three observations. The hierarchy for broadening the category (henceforth, the “collapse hierarchy,” because broadening is accomplished by collapsing the categories as one proceeds down the hierarchy) is as follows:

     1.      Wage interval, six-digit SOC occupation, detailed area (one of the 24 areas)
     2.      Wage interval, six-digit SOC occupation, census geographical division
     3.      Wage interval, six-digit SOC occupation, census geographical region11
     4.      Wage interval, six-digit SOC occupation
     5.      Wage interval, major occupation group
     6.      Wage interval

Returning to the earlier illustration, suppose the sampled establishment is located in the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Gainesville CSA. Then, ideally, for the two secretaries from wage interval B, the proportion estimated to perform part-time work will be calculated with the use of NCS observations for secretaries in the Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Gainesville area who earn a wage ranging from $7.50 per hour to $9.49 per hour. However, if the NCS does not have at least three observations that fit this category, the proportion will be calculated from NCS observations for secretaries in the South Atlantic Census division who earn a wage ranging from $7.50 per hour to $9.49 per hour. If the NCS still does not have at least three observations for this broader category, the category is broadened further, down the collapse hierarchy, until there are at least three NCS observations upon which to calculate the proportion.

Wage estimates for May 2011

Estimates for the mean hourly wage rate by characteristic were calculated for a selected set of areas and occupations. The reference date for these estimates is May 2011. Tables 2 through 5 give just a small sample of them as an illustration. The tables show the estimates for two detailed occupations—registered nurses (SOC 29-1111) and general office clerks (SOC 43-9061)—in 25 areas.12 Registered nurses and general office clerks are among the detailed occupations with a high OES employment nationally. Table 6 shows, for each of the 25 areas, the area that was used to calculate the NCS proportions for the job characteristics in the first step of the collapse hierarchy.

Table 2. Experimental estimates of the hourly mean wage for nurses, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 291111, by nonunion or union status and full- or part-time status, May 2011
AreaNonunionUnionFull timePart time
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)$30.75$31.15
Baltimore–Towson, MD, MSA35.98$43.1135.74$39.00
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA, New England City and Town Area (NECTA) Division40.2953.1744.0148.28
Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL, Metropolitan Division33.4134.5632.72
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH, MSA30.8432.3931.2130.48
Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX, Metropolitan Division32.5632.87
Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO, MSA33.2138.8034.6533.77
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX, MSA35.2235.16
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA, Metropolitan Division40.5342.5140.3142.83
Miami–Miami Beach–Kendall, FL, Metropolitan Division32.5933.39
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI, MSA38.2239.9535.13
Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan Division38.8940.6940.5937.89
New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY–NJ, Metropolitan Division38.8741.3840.6638.49
Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan Division35.5936.1834.91
Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ, MSA35.2535.5835.99
Pittsburgh, PA, MSA29.1631.1930.5127.81
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA, MSA37.9739.1437.7239.01
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA, MSA38.9139.2638.9539.06
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA, MSA38.7343.5139.5641.24
Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, CA, Metropolitan Division39.1640.3039.4838.89
Seattle–Bellevue–Everett, WA, Metropolitan Division37.2038.0338.70
St. Louis, MO–IL, MSA27.9933.7630.0326.83
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL, MSA31.2031.6730.57
Warren–Troy–Farmington Hills, MI, Metropolitan Division33.6135.8932.85
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Division35.1938.5734.9936.30

Note: Dash indicates that the NCS data were not sufficient for the estimate to be reported.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey and Occupational Employment Statistics.

Table 3. Experimental estimates of the hourly mean wage for nurses, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 291111, by full- or part-time status, by work level, May 2011
AreaFull timePart time
Level 7Level 8Level 9Level 11Level 7Level 8Level 9
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)$29.68
Baltimore–Towson, MD, MSA$32.5233.36$42.47$37.62
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA, New England City and Town Area (NECTA) Division44.2142.4648.18
Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL, Metropolitan Division31.9434.0734.67
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH, MSA$28.6029.5329.24$37.1429.2630.60
Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX, Metropolitan Division
Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO, MSA33.9031.6730.6835.41
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX, MSA
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA, Metropolitan Division36.9840.3841.99
Miami–Miami Beach–Kendall, FL, Metropolitan Division31.17
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI, MSA35.6034.82
Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan Division34.1233.3438.7049.7431.9638.22
New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY–NJ, Metropolitan Division35.6334.8939.0250.2933.8038.02
Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan Division32.9734.2137.5334.00
Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ, MSA
Pittsburgh, PA, MSA27.8225.6731.5525.9834.23
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA, MSA36.4839.59
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA, MSA34.6939.2338.75
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA, MSA37.8841.96
Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, CA, Metropolitan Division35.0440.1938.33
Seattle–Bellevue–Everett, WA, Metropolitan Division37.78
St. Louis, MO–IL, MSA25.7229.0329.30$26.3129.67
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL, MSA23.7129.9128.0542.2127.7631.4729.52
Warren–Troy–Farmington Hills, MI, Metropolitan Division33.3531.79
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Division32.7133.6836.5037.36

Note: Dash indicates that the NCS data were not sufficient for the estimate to be reported.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey and Occupational Employment Statistics.

Table 2 shows the estimates for registered nurses by job characteristic. Wage estimates are shown for union and nonunion workers and for part-time and full-time workers. Table 3 shows wage estimates by work level for full-time workers and for part-time workers. To date, no methodology for calculating standard errors for these estimates has been developed, so the tables show only estimates for which the amount of NCS data that contributed to the estimate would typically have been enough to support a publishable estimate under the (now discontinued) NCS wage program.13

Notes

11 See Local Area Unemployment Statistics for a listing of the states in each census region.

12 These 25 areas were chosen because they each have a large OES estimate of total employment for May 2011.

13 The amount of NCS data that supports the wage estimate is the amount of NCS data for the job characteristic in the six-digit SOC area-by-occupation cell for which the proportions for the job characteristic are calculated. In other words, for a given area, the area is that shown in the rightmost column of table 6: the area used to calculate the proportions for the characteristics for the estimate in question. For example, the wage estimate for part-time nurses in the Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan Division would use the amount of NCS data available for part-time nurses in the New York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA, CSA to determine whether the estimate is shown.

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About the Author

Michael K. Lettau
lettau.michael@bls.gov

Michael K. Lettau is Branch Chief, Division of Data Validation and Estimation, Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Dee A. Zamora
zamora.dee@bls.gov

Dee A. Zamora is a mathematical statistician in the Statistical Methods Group, Office of Compensation and Working Conditions, Bureau of Labor Statistics.