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16-563-CHI
Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming — May 2015

Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.65 in May 2015, about 11 percent below the nationwide average of $23.23, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 15 of 22 major occupational groups including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical. No wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; transportation and material moving; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support; protective service; and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2015
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Grand Rapids United States Grand Rapids Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $23.23 $20.65* -11

Management

5.0 4.7* 55.30 49.93* -10

Business and Financial Operations

5.1 4.2* 35.48 29.38* -17

Computer and Mathematical

2.9 1.8* 41.43 31.80* -23

Architecture and Engineering

1.8 2.6* 39.89 34.02* -15

Life, Physical, and Social Science

0.8 0.4* 34.24 28.26* -17

Community and Social Services

1.4 1.4 22.19 22.26 0

Legal

0.8 0.4* 49.74 38.85* -22

Education, Training, and Library

6.2 5.2* 25.48 23.47* -8

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

1.3 1.7* 27.39 17.07* -38

Healthcare Practitioner and Technical

5.8 5.6 37.40 35.43 -5

Healthcare Support

2.9 3.1 14.19 14.14 0

Protective Service

2.4 1.2* 21.45 19.70 -8

Food Preparation and Serving Related

9.1 8.1* 10.98 10.38* -5

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance

3.2 3.5 13.02 12.12* -7

Personal Care and Service

3.1 2.3* 12.33 12.44 1

Sales and Related

10.5 10.0 18.90 19.65 4

Office and Administrative Support

15.8 14.4* 17.47 16.87* -3

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.67 12.26 -3

Construction and Extraction

4.0 3.0* 22.88 21.29* -7

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

3.9 3.9 22.11 20.63* -7

Production

6.6 13.7* 17.41 16.03* -8

Transportation and Material Moving

6.9 8.7* 16.90 14.60* -14

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Grand Rapids is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The percent share of employment or mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.
 

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Grand Rapids-Wyoming had 71,530 jobs in production, accounting for 13.7 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.03, significantly below the national wage of $17.41.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included team assemblers (15,070); helpers--production workers (4,000); and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (3,920). Among the higher paying jobs were power plant operators along with stationary engineers and boiler operators, with mean hourly wages of $32.50 and $31.45, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pressers, textile, garment, and related materials ($9.92) and tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers ($10.57). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2015/may/oes_24340.htm .)

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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, tool and die makers were employed at 7.5 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and furniture finishers, at 5.1 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, structural metal fabricators and fitters had a location quotient of 1.0 in Grand Rapids, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the issuance of data for May 2015, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area definitions as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. OES data are available for 394 metropolitan areas, 38 metropolitan divisions, and 167 OES-defined nonmetropolitan areas. A listing of the areas and their definitions can be found at www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.

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.


Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations for all industries combined in the nation; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; 432 metropolitan areas and divisions; 167 nonmetropolitan areas; and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. National estimates are also available by industry for NAICS sectors, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industries, and by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year. May 2015 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 73.5 percent based on establishments and 69.6 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.9 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,132 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

The May 2015 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/midwest. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/2015/may/methods_statement.pdf.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request . Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2015
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production Occupations

71,530 2.1 $16.03 $33,340

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

3,920 1.7 27.86 57,960

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers

(5) (5) 16.01 33,300

Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers

80 0.5 16.47 34,260

Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters

310 1.0 17.94 37,310

Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators

(5) (5) 15.70 32,650

Team Assemblers

15,070 3.6 14.23 29,590

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

1,420 1.6 14.21 29,560

Bakers

480 0.7 12.13 25,220

Butchers and Meat Cutters

460 0.9 13.81 28,730

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

530 0.9 11.69 24,310

Slaughterers and Meat Packers

120 0.4 13.60 28,290

Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 12.57 26,150

Food Batchmakers

1,400 2.8 15.25 31,720

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

200 1.6 13.56 28,210

Food Processing Workers, All Other

80 0.5 13.07 27,180

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

2,060 3.7 18.21 37,870

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

380 4.0 21.59 44,920

Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

510 1.9 16.49 34,290

Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 16.27 33,850

Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 14.42 30,000

Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

2,250 3.1 16.16 33,610

Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

230 4.0 21.31 44,330

Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

310 1.1 16.32 33,940

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

400 2.7 17.50 36,390

Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

230 3.1 18.45 38,380

Machinists

3,090 2.0 18.85 39,200

Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 16.47 34,250

Pourers and Casters, Metal

40 1.2 21.29 44,290

Foundry Mold and Coremakers

(5) (5) 17.25 35,880

Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 12.84 26,700

Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

1,790 4.5 12.72 26,460

Tool and Die Makers

2,110 7.5 23.28 48,410

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

1,690 1.2 16.85 35,050

Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

470 2.4 18.66 38,810

Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

40 0.5 18.21 37,870

Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

420 3.1 12.54 26,080

Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners

80 2.0 16.29 33,890

Metal Workers and Plastic Workers, All Other

70 0.9 13.77 28,650

Prepress Technicians and Workers

240 1.8 16.61 34,540

Printing Press Operators

880 1.4 16.63 34,590

Print Binding and Finishing Workers

310 1.6 13.80 28,710

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

580 0.8 11.52 23,960

Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials

(5) (5) 9.92 20,640

Sewing Machine Operators

430 0.8 12.58 26,160

Sewers, Hand

40 1.6 13.43 27,930

Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers

(5) (5) 10.57 21,980

Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

30 0.6 13.46 27,990

Extruding and Forming Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Synthetic and Glass Fibers

90 1.2 14.07 29,260

Upholsterers

170 1.5 14.85 30,880

Textile, Apparel, and Furnishings Workers, All Other

(5) (5) 11.83 24,600

Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

630 1.8 17.45 36,300

Furniture Finishers

320 5.1 15.63 32,510

Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

240 1.3 13.42 27,920

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

820 2.9 13.38 27,830

Power Plant Operators

160 1.1 32.50 67,590

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

30 0.3 31.45 65,410

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

220 0.5 22.59 46,980

Chemical Plant and System Operators

90 0.7 25.33 52,690

Plant and System Operators, All Other

160 3.6 23.71 49,310

Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders

120 0.5 22.27 46,330

Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

100 0.5 18.56 38,610

Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

(5) (5) 16.82 34,980

Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand

280 2.6 14.41 29,980

Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

940 1.9 16.21 33,720

Cutters and Trimmers, Hand

70 1.2 12.87 26,780

Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

(5) (5) 15.83 32,940

Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

300 1.1 14.28 29,710

Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders

40 0.6 18.43 38,330

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

(5) (5) 15.68 32,620

Dental Laboratory Technicians

80 0.6 19.61 40,790

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

(5) (5) 14.14 29,410

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

2,990 2.1 12.82 26,670

Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

770 2.3 15.93 33,130

Painters, Transportation Equipment

140 0.7 19.74 41,060

Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers

170 2.9 17.30 35,990

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

(5) (5) 15.07 31,350

Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders

90 1.3 15.33 31,890

Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 14.88 30,960

Etchers and Engravers

100 2.8 17.11 35,590

Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

100 0.7 13.16 27,380

Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

410 1.2 17.03 35,420

Helpers--Production Workers

4,000 2.4 12.12 25,210

Production Workers, All Other

1,400 1.5 13.37 27,800

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_24340.htm.
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations 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) Estimates not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016