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News Release Information

Friday, July 01, 2016

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Gary — May 2015

Workers in the Gary Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.51 in May 2015, about 12 percent below the nationwide average of $23.23, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 15 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and management. Four groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including construction and extraction; production; and installation, maintenance, and repair.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; food preparation and serving related; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; office and administrative support; 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 Gary Metropolitan Division, and measures of statistical significance, May 2015
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Gary United States Gary Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $23.23 $20.51* -12


5.0 4.0* 55.30 43.16* -22

Business and Financial Operations

5.1 2.8* 35.48 29.19* -18

Computer and Mathematical

2.9 0.9* 41.43 29.10* -30

Architecture and Engineering

1.8 1.2* 39.89 34.83* -13

Life, Physical, and Social Science

0.8 0.3* 34.24 26.76* -22

Community and Social Services

1.4 1.1* 22.19 19.47* -12


0.8 0.6* 49.74 36.07* -27

Education, Training, and Library

6.2 5.9 25.48 21.78* -15

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

1.3 0.8* 27.39 18.12* -34

Healthcare Practitioner and Technical

5.8 6.8* 37.40 36.67 -2

Healthcare Support

2.9 2.8 14.19 13.54* -5

Protective Service

2.4 2.8* 21.45 17.93* -16

Food Preparation and Serving Related

9.1 11.0* 10.98 9.77* -11

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance

3.2 3.5 13.02 12.62 -3

Personal Care and Service

3.1 3.3 12.33 11.36* -8

Sales and Related

10.5 10.9 18.90 16.27* -14

Office and Administrative Support

15.8 13.7* 17.47 15.44* -12

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.67 13.12 4

Construction and Extraction

4.0 5.6* 22.88 30.10* 32

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

3.9 5.7* 22.11 23.71* 7


6.6 8.9* 17.41 20.14* 16

Transportation and Material Moving

6.9 7.4 16.90 18.20* 8

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Gary 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Gary had 23,580 jobs in production, accounting for 8.9 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $20.14, significantly above the national wage of $17.41.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic (3,170); first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,830); and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (1,690). Among the higher paying jobs were chemical plant and system operators; and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $31.67 and $30.54, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pressers, textile, garment, and related materials ($9.33) and laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.49). (Detailed occupational data for production 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 Gary Metropolitan Division, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic were employed at 52.0 times the national rate in Gary, and metal-refining furnace operators and tenders, at 42.1 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Gary, 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 Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the issuance of data for May 2015, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area definitions as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. OES data are available for 394 metropolitan areas, 38 metropolitan divisions, and 167 OES-defined nonmetropolitan areas. A listing of the areas and their definitions can be found at

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. The OES program produces employment and wage estimates for over 800 occupations for all industries combined in the nation; the 50 states and the District of Columbia; 432 metropolitan areas and divisions; 167 nonmetropolitan areas; and Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. National estimates are also available by industry for NAICS sectors, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industries, and by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

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 2015 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, and November 2012. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 73.5 percent based on establishments and 69.6 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.9 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 Gary Metropolitan Division included 2,432 establishments with a response rate of 76 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2015 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

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 Gary, Ind. Metropolitan Division includes Jasper, Lake, Newton, and Porter 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: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Gary Metropolitan Division, May 2015
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production Occupations

23,580 1.4 $20.14 $41,880

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

1,830 1.6 30.54 63,510

Engine and Other Machine Assemblers

30 0.5 16.23 33,750

Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters

160 1.0 19.12 39,780

Team Assemblers

1,630 0.8 13.25 27,570

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

230 0.5 14.84 30,870


150 0.4 12.45 25,890

Butchers and Meat Cutters

290 1.1 15.19 31,600

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

(5) (5) 12.71 26,440

Food Batchmakers

100 0.4 13.35 27,770

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

170 0.6 19.03 39,590

Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic

110 2.2 21.85 45,440

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

430 3.1 16.28 33,860

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

3,170 52.0 27.52 57,240

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

540 1.5 17.07 35,500

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

90 3.3 19.08 39,690

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

210 1.5 16.99 35,340

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

40 0.6 21.87 45,500


1,090 1.4 19.78 41,140

Metal-Refining Furnace Operators and Tenders

1,620 42.1 22.93 47,690

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

740 2.8 20.97 43,630

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

90 0.5 18.03 37,500

Tool and Die Makers

50 0.4 21.58 44,880

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

800 1.1 19.85 41,280

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

200 2.0 17.09 35,550

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

180 4.7 25.77 53,600

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

480 7.0 18.76 39,030

Prepress Technicians and Workers

50 0.8 17.39 36,170

Printing Press Operators

220 0.7 16.40 34,120

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

510 1.3 9.49 19,750

Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials

80 0.8 9.33 19,400

Sewing Machine Operators

110 0.4 10.22 21,260

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

(5) (5) 14.24 29,630

Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

310 1.7 11.25 23,410

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

50 0.7 23.64 49,180

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

190 0.9 21.16 44,020

Chemical Plant and System Operators

130 2.0 31.67 65,880

Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers

(5) (5) 23.01 47,850

Chemical Equipment Operators and Tenders

200 1.6 24.49 50,940

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

230 3.8 16.36 34,030

Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

270 1.1 20.16 41,930

Cutters and Trimmers, Hand

120 4.1 12.54 26,090

Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

80 0.6 13.16 27,380

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

80 0.6 18.25 37,950

Furnace, Kiln, Oven, Drier, and Kettle Operators and Tenders

910 24.1 20.10 41,800

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

1,690 1.7 17.77 36,960

Jewelers and Precious Stone and Metal Workers

40 0.7 19.63 40,820

Dental Laboratory Technicians

80 1.1 20.31 42,240

Medical Appliance Technicians

30 1.2 12.27 25,530

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

610 0.8 15.47 32,180

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

90 0.5 13.91 28,940

Painters, Transportation Equipment

40 0.4 24.66 51,290

Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 14.32 29,780

Etchers and Engravers

(5) (5) 11.50 23,920

Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 15.90 33,070

Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

120 0.7 16.31 33,920

Helpers--Production Workers

570 0.7 12.24 25,450

Production Workers, All Other

220 0.5 15.71 32,670

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Gary 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.
(5) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Friday, July 01, 2016