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Friday, June 12, 2020


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton — May 2019

Workers in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.23 in May 2019, about 10 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Sheila Watkins noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 3 of the 22 major occupational groups. Fourteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal, computer and mathematical, and life, physical, and social science.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Allentown area employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving, healthcare practitioners and technical, and production. Conversely, eleven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including 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 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Allentown United States Allentown Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $25.72 $23.23* -10


5.5 4.1* 58.88 56.12* -5

Business and financial operations

5.6 3.7* 37.56 35.51* -5

Computer and mathematical

3.1 1.9* 45.08 38.00* -16

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6 42.69 38.46* -10

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.7* 37.28 31.80* -15

Community and social service

1.5 1.6 24.27 23.19* -4


0.8 0.4* 52.71 37.02* -30

Educational instruction and library

6.1 6.1 27.75 30.28* 9

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.9* 29.79 24.35* -18

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 7.1* 40.21 37.59* -7

Healthcare support

4.4 5.3* 14.91 15.06 1

Protective service

2.4 1.8* 23.98 22.63 -6

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 8.7* 12.82 12.18* -5

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.0 3.1 15.03 15.75 5

Personal care and service

2.2 2.7* 15.03 13.31* -11

Sales and related

9.8 8.7* 20.70 18.60* -10

Office and administrative support

13.3 14.1* 19.73 18.88* -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2) 15.07 16.59* 10

Construction and extraction

4.2 3.0* 25.28 25.11 -1

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.0 24.10 24.43 1


6.2 7.2* 19.30 19.80* 3

Transportation and material moving

8.5 13.4* 18.23 17.25* -5

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Indicates a value of less than 0.05 percent.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

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 49,040 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 13.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 8.5-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.25, significantly below the national wage of $18.23.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand (18,110), stockers and order fillers (6,740), and heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (6,300). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were transportation inspectors and first-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors, with mean hourly wages of $44.45 and $30.52, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were automotive and watercraft service attendants ($11.91) and parking attendants ($12.11). (Detailed data for the transportation and material moving occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available 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 Allentown area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, industrial truck and tractor operators were employed at 3.3 times the national rate in Allentown, and laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand, at 2.5 times the U.S. average. Cleaners of vehicles and equipment had a location quotient of 0.9 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.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

With the May 2019 estimates, the OES program has begun implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Each set of OES estimates is calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. These combinations may include occupations from more than one 2018 SOC minor group or broad occupation. Therefore, OES will not publish data for some 2018 SOC minor groups and broad occupations in the May 2019 estimates. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OES estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

In addition, the OES program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OES will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides.

For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 OES estimates, please see and

The May 2019 OES estimates use the metropolitan area definitions delineated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 17-01, which add a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Twin Falls, Idaho. For more information on the area definitions used in the May 2019 estimates, please see

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 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, 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

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 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 2019 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, and November 2016. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,372 establishments with a response rate of 68 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 May 2019 OES estimates are the first set of OES estimates to be based in part on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. These estimates use a hybrid of the 2010 and 2018 SOC systems. More information on the hybrid classification system is available at

The May 2019 OES estimates are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More 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 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Carbon, Lehigh, and Northampton Counties of Pennsylvania and Warren County of New Jersey.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed information about the OES program is available 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 for transportation and material moving occupations, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Transportation and material moving occupations

49,040 1.6 $17.25 $35,880

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

1,910 1.7 30.52 63,480

Commercial pilots

(5) (5) (6) 99,200

Driver/sales workers

740 0.7 13.52 28,120

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

6,300 1.4 23.29 48,440

Light truck drivers

2,890 1.3 18.72 38,940

Bus drivers, transit and intercity

400 0.9 20.63 42,910

Passenger vehicle drivers, except bus drivers, transit and intercity

1,980 1.1 14.56 30,280

Parking attendants

220 0.6 12.11 25,190

Automotive and watercraft service attendants

190 0.7 11.91 24,760

Transportation inspectors

40 0.5 44.45 92,470

Conveyor operators and tenders

110 1.9 15.69 32,630

Crane and tower operators

60 0.5 21.65 45,030

Industrial truck and tractor operators

5,140 3.3 17.82 37,060

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

900 0.9 13.47 28,020

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

18,110 2.5 15.37 31,970

Machine feeders and offbearers

860 5.4 16.84 35,020

Packers and packagers, hand

1,910 1.2 13.56 28,210

Stockers and order fillers

6,740 1.3 13.79 28,690

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

100 0.4 15.41 32,050

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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) Estimate not released.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Friday, June 12, 2020