Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

Friday, May 25, 2018

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:

Occupational Employment and Wages in Erie – May 2017

Workers in the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.67 in May 2017, 19 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 19 of the 22 major occupational groups in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; architecture and engineering; and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Erie employment shares were significantly higher in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production and personal care and service. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included business and financial operations, management, and computer and mathematical. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2017
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesErieUnited StatesEriePercent difference (1)

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


    Healthcare support


    Protective service

    Food preparation and serving related


    Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


    Personal care and service


    Sales and related*-21

    Office and administrative support


    Farming, fishing, and forestry


    Construction and extraction


    Installation, maintenance, and repair




    Transportation and material moving


(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area 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.

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Erie had 13,800 jobs in production, accounting for 11.2 percent of local area employment, significantly above the 6.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.84, significantly lower than the national average of $18.30. 

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers (2,010) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (910). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers ($26.35) and tool and die makers ($22.89). At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers and production worker helpers, with mean hourly wages of $10.74 and $11.35, respectively. (Detailed data for production occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to

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 Erie area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the production group. For instance, metal and plastic extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders were employed at 3.5 times times the national rate in Erie, and metal and plastic computer-controlled machine tool operators at 6.9 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, printing press operators had a location quotient of 1.1 in Erie, meaning 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.


Note on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at

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 survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,601 establishments with a response rate of 74 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2017 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2017 NAICS is available at

Metropolitan 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 Erie, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Erie County in Pennsylvania.

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, Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2017
Occupation (1)Employment (2)Mean wage
LevelLocation quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Production occupations


    First-line supervisors of production and operating workers


    Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers


    Structural metal fabricators and fitters


    Assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers




    Butchers and meat cutters


    Food batchmakers


    Food cooking machine operators and tenders


    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


    Forging 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




    Pourers and casters, metal


    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


    Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders


    Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic


    Printing press operators


    Print binding and finishing workers


    Laundry and dry-cleaning workers


    Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters


    Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing


    Stationary engineers and boiler operators


    Water and wastewater treatment plant and system 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


    Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders


    Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders


    Painters, transportation equipment


    Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders


    Helpers--production workers


    Production workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Friday, May 25, 2018