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Handbook of Methods Modeled Wage Estimates Presentation

Modeled Wage Estimates: Presentation

The Modeled Wage Estimates (MWE) website provides access to the MWE data through the database query tool, Excel spreadsheet, tables, related publications, and frequently asked questions.

MWE users include the following:

  • Actuaries

  • Business owners

  • Employment agencies

  • Federal, state, and local governments

    • Economic development agencies

    • School counselors

  • Human resource professionals

  • Jobseekers

  • Media

  • Researchers

  • Students

  • Unions

The MWE average hourly wages are used for a variety of purposes:

  • Business owners aligning resources for growth by establishing competitive establishing competitive compensation packages to attract a talented workforce.

  • Business owners evaluating labor costs in different areas when considering relocation or expansion.

  • Jobseekers preparing for compensation negotiations by understanding wage differences by job characteristics.

  • Researchers assessing how job characteristics impact compensation.

  • Human resource personnel aligning salaries by areas and job characteristics.

Accessing data

Complete set of current and historical MWE data are available as Excel spreadsheets.

The most current estimates are available through the database query tool which include the following:

  • Top picks are series selected by the NCS program to provide users with an overview of most requested statistics.

  • Data finder allows users to conveniently search multiple data sets all at once. Users can extract specific data by searching by keyword or by filtering through multiple topics, measures, and attributes.

  • One-screen data search allows users to select individual or multiple series from a simple, one-screen form.

  • Multi-screen data search allows users to choose data using a form-based query application that spans several screens.

Text files are available on the time series page, which includes the dataset, variables that are components of the dataset, and descriptions of these files and their structure.


Although the MWE have many uses, it is important to consider the survey limitations. Estimates are subject to sampling error present in each survey separately. Nonsampling error is present in the surveys as described in the Calculation section. Users are advised against making comparisons with previously published estimates, as each reference year estimates reflect changes in employment (weighting), sample size, as well as collection and estimation procedures. These estimates are not a time series and instead reflect wages by job characteristics and geographic detail for the published reference period.

Corrections policy

Estimates are considered final at initial publication; estimates are not revised as they represent the average hourly wages for the reference year. If the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) identifies estimation, collection, or other processing errors, which result in statistically different estimates, BLS will identify the incorrect estimates and provide a notice to users on BLS errata page. BLS will inform users whether the estimate(s) will be suppressed or corrected.

Last Modified Date: October 05, 2022