Article

August 2013

Wage estimates by job characteristic: NCS and OES program data

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Table 4. Experimental estimates of the hourly mean wage for general office clerks, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 439061, 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)$12.57$14.43
Baltimore–Towson, MD, MSA14.02$19.6315.83
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA, New England City and Town Area (NECTA) Division16.7916.95$17.07
Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL, Metropolitan Division14.0320.2816.6912.36
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH, MSA13.7717.0915.5411.19
Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX, Metropolitan Division14.1916.6911.12
Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO, MSA15.5517.8816.56
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX, MSA14.0514.57
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA, Metropolitan Division13.3720.4716.6512.45
Miami–Miami Beach–Kendall, FL, Metropolitan Division12.2413.41
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI, MSA13.7817.4715.7111.72
Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan Division13.8017.2216.5310.15
New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY–NJ, Metropolitan Division13.5016.9216.2410.02
Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan Division14.7016.37
Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ, MSA14.6715.77
Pittsburgh, PA, MSA13.4615.9814.7611.82
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA, MSA14.4816.7016.3811.18
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA, MSA13.4318.7915.9612.47
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA, MSA14.2116.9916.5310.98
Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, CA, Metropolitan Division13.6220.0416.7112.60
Seattle–Bellevue–Everett, WA, Metropolitan Division15.0519.6816.9414.22
St. Louis, MO–IL, MSA14.0021.9316.1111.89
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL, MSA12.5417.2813.759.90
Warren–Troy–Farmington Hills, MI, Metropolitan Division13.8616.09
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Division14.9721.9617.36

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 5. Experimental estimates of the hourly mean wage for general office clerks, Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 439061, by full- or part-time status, by work level, May 2011
AreaFull timePart time
Level 2Level 3Level 4Level 5Level 2Level 3
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)
Baltimore–Towson, MD, MSA$14.01$17.62$19.40
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA, New England City and Town Area (NECTA) Division14.97
Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL, Metropolitan Division18.2117.75
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH, MSA$9.7213.5115.7319.23$9.75$10.75
Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX, Metropolitan Division15.0213.5222.76
Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO, MSA13.0116.0321.00
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX, MSA11.0716.33
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA, Metropolitan Division15.8018.6421.92
Miami–Miami Beach–Kendall, FL, Metropolitan Division
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI, MSA15.7318.40
Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan Division11.7916.6417.8618.98
New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY–NJ, Metropolitan Division11.7116.5117.6118.66
Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan Division
Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ, MSA
Pittsburgh, PA, MSA12.2715.2416.239.45
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA, MSA12.3513.6516.0918.66
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA, MSA15.9817.7119.73
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA, MSA12.1213.0816.2819.01
Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, CA, Metropolitan Division15.9418.4420.87
Seattle–Bellevue–Everett, WA, Metropolitan Division
St. Louis, MO–IL, MSA12.1915.3820.4911.45
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL, MSA10.6312.8914.3816.608.52
Warren–Troy–Farmington Hills, MI, Metropolitan Division
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Division14.1019.1920.84

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 6. Areas used to calculate the National Compensation Survey (NCS) proportions for characteristics during the first step of the collapse hierarchy
Area with wage estimateArea used for proportions for characteristics
Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Marietta, GA, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)Atlanta–Sandy Springs–Gainesville, GA–AL, CSA
Baltimore–Towson, MD, MSAWashington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia, DC–MD–VA–WV, CSA
Boston–Cambridge–Quincy, MA, NECTA DivisionBoston–Worcester–Manchester, MA–NH, CSA
Chicago–Joliet–Naperville, IL, Metropolitan DivisionChicago–Naperville–Michigan City, IL–IN–WI, CSA
Cleveland–Elyria–Mentor, OH, MSABalance of East North Central Census division
Dallas–Plano–Irving, TX, Metropolitan DivisionDallas–Fort Worth, TX, CSA
Denver–Aurora–Broomfield, CO, MSABalance of Mountain Census division
Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown, TX, MSAHouston–Baytown–Huntsville, TX, CSA
Los Angeles–Long Beach–Glendale, CA, Metropolitan DivisionLos Angeles–Long Beach–Riverside, CA, CSA
Miami–Miami Beach–Kendall, FL, Metropolitan DivisionMiami–Fort Lauderdale–Pompano Beach, FL, MSA
Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington, MN–WI, MSAMinneapolis–St. Paul–St. Cloud, MN–WI, CSA
Nassau–Suffolk, NY, Metropolitan DivisionNew York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA, CSA
New York–White Plains–Wayne, NY–NJ, Metropolitan DivisionNew York–Newark–Bridgeport, NY–NJ–CT–PA, CSA
Philadelphia, PA, Metropolitan DivisionPhiladelphia–Camden–Vineland, PA–NJ–DE–MD, CSA
Phoenix–Mesa–Glendale, AZ, MSAPhoenix–Mesa–Scottsdale, AZ, MSA
Pittsburgh, PA, MSABalance of Middle Atlantic census division
Portland–Vancouver–Hillsboro, OR–WA, MSABalance of Pacific census division
Riverside–San Bernardino–Ontario, CA, MSALos Angeles–Long Beach–Riverside, CA, CSA
San Diego–Carlsbad–San Marcos, CA, MSABalance of Pacific census division CSA
Santa Ana–Anaheim–Irvine, CA, Metropolitan DivisionLos Angeles–Long Beach–Riverside, CA, CSA
Seattle–Bellevue–Everett, WA, Metropolitan DivisionSeattle–Tacoma–Olympia, WA, CSA
St. Louis, MO–IL, MSABalance of West North Central census division
Tampa–St. Petersburg–Clearwater, FL, MSABalance of South Atlantic census division
Warren–Troy–Farmington Hills, MI, Metropolitan DivisionDetroit–Warren–Flint, MI, CSA
Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan DivisionWashington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia, DC–MD–VA–WV, CSA

Note: The balance of a Census division comprises all areas in the division except those included in one of the 15 specific areas in table 1.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on U.S. Census Bureau areas.

Table 4 shows wage estimates for general office clerks by job characteristic in the 25 areas selected. Table 5 then shows wage estimates by work level separately for full-time and part-time workers. Among the full-time workers, work levels 2 through 5 predominate, while among part-time workers, levels 2 and 3 predominate.

Two BLS statistical programs—the NCS and the OES survey—collect and report information about the hourly earnings of workers by occupation. This article has described a procedure that combines data from these programs to produce a consistent set of wage estimates by area, occupation, and job characteristic. The procedure takes advantage of the large sample size of the OES survey and the detailed information about job characteristics from the NCS to provide more extensive information about the wage rates of workers than either program can produce individually. The article then presented the resulting experimental wage estimates for two occupations in 25 areas as a demonstration of the estimation procedure. The Bureau seeks to make more wage estimates based on this procedure available in the future.

Appendix: Definitions and examples

Definitions of geographic areas . Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas are geographic entities defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by federal statistical agencies. A metropolitan statistical area contains a core urban area with a population of at least 50,000, and a micropolitan statistical area contains an urban core with a population of at least 10,000 but less than 50,000. Combined statistical areas then consist of two or more adjacent metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas that have substantial employment interchange. As an example of how these definitions interrelate, the following is a list of the areas that make up the Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia, DC–MD–VA–WV, CSA:

·         Baltimore–Towson, MD, Metropolitan Statistical Area
·         Culpeper, VA, Micropolitan Statistical Area
·         Lexington Park, MD, Micropolitan Statistical Area
·         Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Statistical Area   
      
·    Bethesda–Rockville–Frederick, MD, Metropolitan Division   
      
·    Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, DC–VA–MD–WV, Metropolitan Division
·         Winchester, VA–WV, Metropolitan Statistical Area

The Washington–Baltimore–Northern Virginia CSA is thus composed of three metropolitan statistical areas and two micropolitan statistical areas. One of the metropolitan statistical areas, Washington–Arlington–Alexandria, is then further divided between two metropolitan divisions. A metropolitan division is a smaller grouping of counties or equivalent entities within a metropolitan statistical area; it contains a single core with a population of at least 2.5 million.14

Parallels between NCS–OES estimation method and benchmarking. The example that follows demonstrates the BLS estimation procedure and how it relates to benchmarking the NCS sample weights to OES employment totals, thereby “harmonizing” the two sets of wage estimates. For simplicity, suppose that there are only two possible values for wage rates: $10 and $20. Then the following tabulation summarizes counts of observations from separate OES and NCS samples for this hypothetical example:

Notes

14 See Metropolitan and micropolitan: Metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas—main (U.S. Census Bureau) and Geography: Geographic terms and concepts—core based statistical areas and related statistical areas (U.S. Census Bureau) for further information about the BLS definitions of geographic areas.

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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.