Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.49 in May 2013, about 8 percent below 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, no wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 22 major occupational groups. Fifteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including architecture and engineering; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 3 of the 22 occupational groups: production; healthcare practitioners and technical; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; food preparation and serving 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||Grand Rapids||United States||Grand Rapids||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Grand Rapids-Wyoming had 53,140 jobs in production, accounting for 13.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.60, measurably below the national wage of $16.79.
With employment of 9,570, team assemblers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by helpers--production workers (4,880) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (2,790). Among the higher paying jobs were stationary engineers and boiler operators and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $27.88 and $27.56, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($10.23) and helpers--production workers ($10.62). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_24340.htm).
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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders were employed at 14.8 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and tool and die makers, at 10.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators had a location quotient of 1.0 in Grand Rapids, 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 Michigan Bureau of LMI & Strategic Initiatives.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Grand Rapids 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. 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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,081 establishments with a response rate of 74 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 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 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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Barry, Ionia, Kent, and Newaygo Counties.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/midwest. 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/2013/may/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||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers
Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers
Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers
Engine and Other Machine Assemblers
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators
Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other
Butchers and Meat Cutters
Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers
Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders
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
Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Drilling and Boring Machine Tool 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
Model Makers, 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
Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners
Prepress Technicians and Workers
Printing Press Operators
Print Binding and Finishing Workers
Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers
Sewing Machine Operators
Textile Cutting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters
Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood
Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
Plant and System Operators, All Other
Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand
Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Cutters and Trimmers, Hand
Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers
Dental Laboratory Technicians
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians
Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders
Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Painters, Transportation Equipment
Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers
Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders
Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic
Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Production Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, May 21, 2014