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Friday, August 1, 2014


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Bowling Green, May 2013

Workers in the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $17.97 in May 2013, 20 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 19 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management, sales and related, and transportation and material moving.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 3 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; food preparation and serving related; and education, training, and library. Conversely, seven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including protective service, management, and architecture and engineering. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Bowling Green had 6,170 jobs in production, accounting for 10.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.42, compared to the national wage of $16.79.

With employment of 960, team assemblers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (320) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (300). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and machinists, with mean hourly wages of $26.60 and $24.45, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were all other assemblers and fabricators ($10.08) and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers ($13.15). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Bowling Green United States Bowling Green Percent difference 1

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.33 $17.97* -20


4.9 4.2* 53.15 39.07* -26

Business and financial operations

5.0 4.1 34.14 28.38* -17

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.6* 39.43 29.78* -24

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.4* 38.51 31.22* -19

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.3* 33.37 25.64* -23

Community and social services

1.4 1.6 21.50 16.78* -22


0.8 0.6* 47.89 36.61* -24

Education, training, and library

6.3 7.4* 24.76 24.08 -3

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.1 26.72 16.73* -37

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 6.4 35.93 29.98* -17

Healthcare support

3.0 2.5 13.61 12.66* -7

Protective service

2.5 1.6* 20.92 17.70* -15

Food preparation and serving related

9.0 10.5* 10.38 9.10* -12

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.9 12.51 10.64* -15

Personal care and service

3.0 3.0 11.88 10.37* -13

Sales and related

10.6 10.7 18.37 14.30* -22

Office and administrative support

16.2 15.1 16.78 14.43* -14

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 11.70 10.64 -9

Construction and extraction

3.8 3.5 21.94 19.60* -11

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.6 21.35 18.04* -16


6.6 10.4* 16.79 15.42 -8

Transportation and material moving

6.8 7.3 16.28 13.10* -20

1 A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Bowling Green 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.

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 Bowling Green 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 5.0 times the national rate in Bowling Green, and team assemblers, at 2.0 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, first-line supervisors of production and operating workers had a location quotient of 1.2 in Bowling Green, 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 Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: 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. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. 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 for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area included 970 establishments with a response rate of 78 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and , respectively.

The May 2013 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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at .

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 Bowling Green, Ky. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Edmonson and Warren Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at 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, Bowling Green Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production Occupations

6,170 1.6 $15.42 $32,070

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

300 1.2 26.60 55,320

Team Assemblers

960 2.0 18.91 39,330

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

280 2.5 10.08 20,970

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

190 3.0 16.26 33,820

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

160 2.0 14.51 30,180


240 1.4 24.45 50,850

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

(5) (5) 12.26 25,500

Tool and Die Makers

180 5.0 17.05 35,470

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

180 1.2 16.76 34,870

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

60 2.6 18.08 37,600

Prepress Technicians and Workers

30 1.8 17.54 36,480

Printing Press Operators

190 2.6 16.07 33,420

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

130 1.5 10.06 20,920

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

80 2.6 11.68 24,280

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

30 2.0 21.67 45,070

Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

80 1.5 14.35 29,840

Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

(5) (5) 16.36 34,030

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

40 1.2 14.51 30,170

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

320 1.5 13.15 27,340

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

70 1.8 13.89 28,890

Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders

40 5.1 15.64 32,530

Helpers--Production Workers

150 0.8 11.54 24,000

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Bowling Green, see
(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) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: August 1, 2014