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News Release Information

15-915-CHI
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Contacts

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming — May 2014

Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.88 in May 2014, about 12 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, 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 higher than their respective national averages in 22 major occupational groups. Sixteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 1 of the 22 occupational groups: production. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related; construction and extraction; and protective service. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesGrand RapidsUnited StatesGrand RapidsPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0%$22.71$19.88*-12

Management

5.04.5*54.0847.98*-11

Business and financial operations

5.14.2*34.8128.40*-18

Computer and mathematical

2.82.0*40.3733.16*-18

Architecture and engineering

1.81.939.1932.11*-18

Life, physical, and social science

0.80.4*33.6928.59*-15

Community and social services

1.41.521.7921.850

Legal

0.80.4*48.6137.87*-22

Education, training, and library

6.25.7*25.1021.79*-13

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.31.426.8218.69*-30

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.86.136.5432.78*-10

Healthcare support

2.93.113.8613.65-2

Protective service

2.41.4*21.1420.03-5

Food preparation and serving related

9.17.8*10.579.84*-7

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.22.912.6812.07*-5

Personal care and service

3.12.3*12.0111.950

Sales and related

10.510.018.5918.831

Office and administrative support

16.015.2*17.0816.16*-5

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.30.1*12.0911.66-4

Construction and extraction

3.92.8*22.4021.04*-6

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.93.7*21.7420.46*-6

Production

6.613.3*17.0615.74*-8

Transportation and material moving

6.8(2)16.5713.62*-18

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Grand Rapids is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released.
* 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. Grand Rapids-Wyoming had 54,070 jobs in production, accounting for 13.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.74, significantly below the national wage of $17.06.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the production group included team assemblers (12,120), helpers--production workers (5,380), and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (2,960). Among the higher paying jobs were power plant operators; and chemical equipment operators and tenders, with mean hourly wages of $27.48 and $26.97, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers ($8.71) and slaughterers and meat packers ($10.14). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2014/may/oes_24340.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 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 13.3 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and tool and die makers, at 8.3 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bakers had a location quotient of 0.9 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 Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

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. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,097 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 2014 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.

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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Barry, Ionia, Kent, and Newaygo Counties.

Additional information

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/2014/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: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Production Occupations

54,0702.0$15.74$32,740

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

2,9601.726.8755,890

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers

4400.717.5036,410

Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

4704.119.0739,670

Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters

(5)(5)18.6338,740

Fiberglass Laminators and Fabricators

1101.913.9128,930

Team Assemblers

12,1203.614.4630,080

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

1,9802.815.6232,490

Bakers

4500.912.5126,020

Butchers and Meat Cutters

2200.514.7430,660

Slaughterers and Meat Packers

400.210.1421,080

Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders

76013.318.4538,380

Food Batchmakers

1,0903.014.5530,270

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

1801.611.7524,440

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

1,6603.715.9833,230

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

2503.423.3548,560

Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5)(5)17.5236,450

Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

801.213.2927,640

Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

600.615.2531,720

Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

1,5102.615.8833,030

Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

2504.820.1541,920

Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

4001.915.6432,530

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

1901.517.1335,630

Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

1502.218.6638,820

Machinists

2,1501.816.2933,880

Foundry Mold and Coremakers

(5)(5)16.6434,620

Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

1,3503.514.1129,350

Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

5201.815.3731,980

Tool and Die Makers

1,9008.324.1750,280

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

1,3101.216.6034,520

Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

3602.218.2237,890

Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5)(5)16.4334,170

Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

5104.712.9726,990

Metal Workers and Plastic Workers, All Other

(5)(5)10.7222,310

Prepress Technicians and Workers

2402.216.4634,240

Printing Press Operators

7601.516.2433,780

Print Binding and Finishing Workers

3102.013.3127,680

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

5000.810.6422,140

Sewing Machine Operators

3000.712.5426,080

Tailors, Dressmakers, and Custom Sewers

(5)(5)8.7118,110

Extruding and Forming Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Synthetic and Glass Fibers

601.015.3631,960

Upholsterers

1802.015.6032,440

Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

400.215.2231,650

Furniture Finishers

901.915.0031,190

Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

1501.113.2327,510

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

3001.413.5028,090

Power Plant Operators

500.427.4857,160

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

3000.921.5844,890

Plant and System Operators, All Other

902.419.8641,320

Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders

(5)(5)26.9756,100

Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

1001.117.0735,510

Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand

3003.413.1927,430

Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

4701.315.7032,650

Cutters and Trimmers, Hand

1002.114.7830,740

Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

2901.516.2033,700

Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

3001.513.4728,010

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

2,8401.914.7430,670

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

500.7(5)(5)

Dental Laboratory Technicians

600.516.9535,260

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

1702.113.9729,070

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

2,3102.011.9124,780

Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

5301.915.7432,750

Painters, Transportation Equipment

900.616.7434,820

Painting, Coating, and Decorating Workers

701.4(5)(5)

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

(5)(5)14.6330,430

Adhesive Bonding Machine Operators and Tenders

1102.015.4432,120

Etchers and Engravers

602.416.2933,890

Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

1401.315.4032,040

Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

3401.215.6832,610

Helpers--Production Workers

5,3804.311.6524,240

Production Workers, All Other

1,3802.114.4930,130

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_24340.htm.
(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) Estimate not released.
 

 

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2015