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Thursday, May 24, 2018
Workers in the Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.21 in May 2017, about 5 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, 11 of the 22 major occupational groups had average wages in the local area that were significantly lower than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; computer and mathematical; and architecture and engineering.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment shares were significantly higher in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving, office and administrative support, and business and financial operations. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation including production, sales and related, and construction and extraction. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Harrisburg||United States||Harrisburg||Percent 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
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—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Harrisburg had 33,920 jobs in transportation and material moving occupations, accounting for 10.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the national share of 7.0 percent. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.79, similar to the national wage of $17.82.
With employment of 10,200, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was the largest detailed occupation within the transportation and material moving group, followed by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (7,180). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors, with a mean hourly wage of $28.14, and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with a wage of $22.02. At the lower end of the wage scale were cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($12.21) and taxi drivers and chauffeurs ($12.53). (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_25420.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 Harrisburg area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers were employed at 1.7 times the national rate in Harrisburg, and industrial truck and tractor operators at 3.4 times the U.S. average. In contrast, driver/sales workers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Harrisburg, indicating that this particular occupation’s local employment share was similar to the national share.
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.
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 www.bls.gov/oes/changes_2017.htm.
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 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 www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.
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 Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,646 establishments with a response rate of 70 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.
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 www.bls.gov/soc/ and information about the 2017 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.
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 Harrisburg-Carlisle Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties in Pennsylvania.
OES data are available on our regional web page at 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: (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 transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors
Airfield operations specialists
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
Motor vehicle operators, all other
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
Last Modified Date: Thursday, May 24, 2018