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News Release Information

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. Metropolitan Division – May 2013

Workers in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.95 in May 2013, about 7 percent above the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 10 of the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction; sales and related; and installation, maintenance, and repair.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including management; transportation and material moving; and business and financial operations. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related; construction and extraction; and installation, maintenance, and repair. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Chicago United States Chicago Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.33 $23.95* 7


4.9 6.3* 53.15 52.72 -1

Business and financial operations

5.0 5.6* 34.14 35.94* 5

Computer and mathematical

2.8 3.2* 39.43 38.25* -3

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.3* 38.51 36.90* -4

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 33.37 33.81 1

Community and social services

1.4 1.2* 21.50 23.22* 8


0.8 1.0* 47.89 50.31 5

Education, training, and library

6.3 6.8 24.76 25.94 5

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.3 26.72 27.49 3

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 5.5* 35.93 35.99 0

Healthcare support

3.0 3.0 13.61 13.64 0

Protective service

2.5 2.7* 20.92 22.99 10

Food preparation and serving related

9.0 7.7* 10.38 10.58* 2

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.3 12.51 13.32* 6

Personal care and service

3.0 2.9 11.88 12.71* 7

Sales and related

10.6 11.0* 18.37 20.98* 14

Office and administrative support

16.2 15.6* 16.78 17.81* 6

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 11.70 14.48* 24

Construction and extraction

3.8 2.8* 21.94 29.92* 36

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.1* 21.35 23.22* 9


6.6 7.0* 16.79 16.65 -1

Transportation and material moving

6.8 8.1* 16.28 17.05 5

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Chicago 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—business and financial operations—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Chicago-Joliet-Naperville had 208,350 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 5.6 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $35.94, measurably above the national wage of $34.14.

With employment of 31,340, accountants and auditors was one of the largest occupations within the business and financial operations group, as were management analysts (20,300) and market research analysts and marketing specialists (11,950). Among the higher paying jobs were management analysts and financial examiners, with mean hourly wages of $51.24 and $44.13, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were labor relations specialists ($21.98) and credit counselors ($23.25). (Detailed occupational data for business and financial operations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow for the exploration of an area’s occupational make-up 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 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, insurance underwriters were employed at 1.9 times the national rate in Chicago, and personal financial advisors, at 1.9 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, market research analysts and marketing specialists had a location quotient of 1.0 in Chicago, 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 Illinois Department of Employment Security.

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Chicago Metropolitan Division 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.

Technical Note

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. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division included 11,690 establishments with a response rate of 68 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 and, respectively.

The May 2013 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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, Ill. Metropolitan Division includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, McHenry, and Will Counties.

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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Chicago-Joliet-Naperville Metropolitan Division, May 2013
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual(4)

Business and Financial Operations Occupations

208,350 1.1 $35.94 $74,750

Agents and Business Managers of Artists, Performers, and Athletes

340 1.0 34.76 72,310

Buyers and Purchasing Agents, Farm Products

410 1.3 27.06 56,290

Wholesale and Retail Buyers, Except Farm Products

4,280 1.4 25.75 53,570

Purchasing Agents, Except Wholesale, Retail, and Farm Products

5,340 0.7 30.20 62,820

Claims Adjusters, Examiners, and Investigators

10,340 1.3 30.39 63,210

Insurance Appraisers, Auto Damage

670 1.8 28.80 59,900

Compliance Officers

4,440 0.7 36.21 75,310

Cost Estimators

3,970 0.7 33.60 69,890

Human Resources Specialists

10,220 0.9 30.16 62,740

Labor Relations Specialists

2,770 1.3 21.98 45,710


2,040 0.6 33.04 68,720

Management Analysts

20,300 1.3 51.24 106,590

Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

1,860 0.9 23.65 49,190


770 0.6 25.53 53,110

Compensation, Benefits, and Job Analysis Specialists

1,450 0.6 29.60 61,570

Training and Development Specialists

4,020 0.6 29.48 61,320

Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists

11,950 1.0 31.02 64,520

Business Operations Specialists, All Other

38,340 1.5 34.14 71,010

Accountants and Auditors

31,340 1.0 35.80 74,460

Appraisers and Assessors of Real Estate

1,020 0.6 28.22 58,690

Budget Analysts

1,030 0.6 36.89 76,740

Credit Analysts

2,450 1.3 37.48 77,950

Financial Analysts

9,140 1.3 39.69 82,550

Personal Financial Advisors

9,600 1.9 43.45 90,370

Insurance Underwriters

4,980 1.9 33.19 69,040

Financial Examiners

2,180 2.6 44.13 91,780

Credit Counselors

180 0.2 23.25 48,370

Loan Officers

10,170 1.2 40.17 83,560

Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents

970 0.5 38.42 79,920

Tax Preparers

2,520 1.3 29.58 61,520

Financial Specialists, All Other

9,230 2.3 36.53 75,970

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division, 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.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014