Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. MSA – May 2012
Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.09 in May 2012, about 9 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, no occupational groups in the local area recorded wages significantly higher than their respective national averages among the 22 major occupational categories. Seventeen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including architecture and engineering, computer and mathematical occupations, and production.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; healthcare practitioners and technical occupations; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; food preparation and serving related; and construction and extraction occupations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Grand Rapids||United States||Grand Rapids||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Grand Rapids-Wyoming had 24,610 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 6.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $31.45, measurably below the national wage of $35.35.
With employment of 8,530, registered nurses was the largest occupation within the healthcare practitioners and technical group, followed by licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (2,380) and pharmacy technicians (1,120). Among the higher paying jobs were obstetricians and gynecologists and pediatricians, general, with mean hourly wages of $120.57 and $102.85, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were dietetic technicians ($12.30) and pharmacy technicians ($13.33). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2012/may/oes_24340.htm)
Location quotients allow for the exploration of an area's occupational make-up 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 some of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, internists, general were employed at 4.7 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and dietetic technicians, at 4.6 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, pharmacy technicians had a location quotient of 1.1 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.
With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc.
The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm .
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Grand Rapids 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.
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 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,071 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 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, Ionia, Kent, and Newaygo Counties.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro5/home.htm. 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/2012/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: 1-800-877-8339.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations
Dietitians and Nutritionists
Family and General Practitioners
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists
Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: May 9, 2013