Thursday, June 18, 2015
Workers in the Reading Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.74 in May 2014, 9 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 8 of the 22 major occupational groups, including life, physical, and social science; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical. Only one group had an hourly wage that was significantly higher than its respective national average—production. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Employment share (percent of total)||Average (mean) hourly wage|
|United States||Reading||Significant difference (1)||United States||Reading||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, Reading employment shares were significantly higher in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; transportation and material moving; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, 15 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included management, computer and mathematical, and business and financial operations.
One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Reading had 21,690 jobs in production, accounting for 12.9 percent of local area employment, nearly twice the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.41, measurably above the national wage of $17.06.
With employment of 2,480, team assemblers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by metal and plastic multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders (1,860) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,330). Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and metal and plastic multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, with mean hourly wages of $26.67 and $21.96, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were bakers ($12.20) and sewing machine operators ($12.85). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_39740.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 Reading area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, metal and plastic multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders were employed at over 15 times the national rate in Reading, and metal and plastic molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders at almost 6 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers had a location quotient of 1.2 in Reading, 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 Reading 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 Reading Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,991 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 Reading, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Berks County in Pennsylvania.
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)|
First-line supervisors of production and operating workers
Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers
Engine and other machine assemblers
Structural metal fabricators and filters
Assemblers and fabricators, all other
Butchers and meat cutters
Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers
Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic
Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic
Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders
Pourers and casters, metal
Patternmakers, metal and plastic
Foundry mold and coremakers
Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Tool and die makers
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers
Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic
Metal workers and plastic workers, all other
Prepress technicians and workers
Printing press operators
Print binding and finishing workers
Laundry and dry-cleaning workers
Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials
Sewing machine operators
Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers
Textile bleaching and dying machine setters, operators, and tenders
Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders
Textile knitting and weaving machine setters, operators, and tenders
Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters
Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood
Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing
Power plant operators
Stationary engineers and boiler operators
Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators
Gas plant operators
Chemical equipment operators and tenders
Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders
Grinding and polishing workers, hand
Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders
Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders
Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders
Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers
Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers
Dental laboratory technicians
Medical appliance technicians
Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders
Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders
Painters, transportation equipment
Photographic process workers and processing machine operators
Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic
Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders
Production workers, all other
Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015