Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Workers in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.38 in May 2014, six percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 9 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical. Four other groups had hourly wages that were measurably higher than their respective national averages; included in this grouping were education, training, and library occupations and production occupations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Employment share (percent of total)||Average (mean) hourly wage|
|United States||Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton||Significant difference (1)||United States||Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton||Significant difference (1)||Percent difference (2)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social service
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioners 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
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Allentown employment shares were significantly higher in 6 of the 22 occupational groups including transportation and material moving, healthcare practitioners and technical, and healthcare support. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included business and financial operations, management, and computer and mathematical.
One occupational group—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Allentown had 29,000 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.5 percent of local area employment, significantly larger than the 6.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.57, the same as the national wage.
With employment of 8,450, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was the largest occupation within the transportation and material moving group, followed by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with 5,350 jobs. Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and first-line supervisors of hand helpers, laborers, and material movers, with mean hourly wages of $28.73 and $25.13, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were automotive and watercraft service attendants ($9.10) and cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($10.47). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_10900.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 as it does nationally. In the Allentown area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, conveyor operators and tenders were employed at nearly three times the national rate in Allentown, and industrial truck and tractor operators at almost two-and-a-half times the U.S. average. On the other hand, taxi drivers and chauffeurs had a location quotient of 1.0 in Allentown, 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 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton 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. Each year, forms are mailed to two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments, one panel in May and the other in November. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on employment. The sample in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,669 establishments with a response rate of 77 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
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 www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm, respectively.
The May 2014 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.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County in New Jersey.
OES data are available on our regional web page at https://www.bls.gov/regions/mid-atlantic. 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/current/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 (2)||Mean wage|
|Level||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual (4)|
Transportation and material moving occupations
First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand
First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators
Airfield Operations Specialists
Ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians
Bus drivers, transit and intercity
Bus drivers, school or special client
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Light truck or delivery services drivers
Taxi drivers and chauffeurs
Parking lot attendants
Automotive and watercraft service attendants
Conveyor operators and tenders
Crane and tower operators
Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators
Industrial truck and tractor operators
Cleaners of vehicles and equipment
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
Machine feeders and offbearers
Packers and packagers, hand
Refuse and recyclable material collectors
Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015