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News Release Information

20-526-CHI
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Contacts

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming — May 2019

Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $22.60 in May 2019, about 12 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations 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. Eighteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Grand Rapids area employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including production, transportation and material moving, and architecture and engineering. Conversely, fifteen groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including educational instruction and library, food preparation and serving related, 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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesGrand RapidsUnited StatesGrand RapidsPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0100.0$25.72$22.60*-12

Management

5.54.6*58.8852.90*-10

Business and financial operations

5.64.8*37.5631.25*-17

Computer and mathematical

3.11.7*45.0833.62*-25

Architecture and engineering

1.82.6*42.6936.84*-14

Life, physical, and social science

0.90.4*37.2831.96*-14

Community and social service

1.51.4*24.2722.91*-6

Legal

0.80.4*52.7140.44*-23

Educational instruction and library

6.14.3*27.7525.87*-7

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.41.429.7922.80*-23

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.96.040.2134.85*-13

Healthcare support

4.43.7*14.9114.880

Protective service

2.41.3*23.9820.32*-15

Food preparation and serving related

9.27.8*12.8213.193

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.03.5*15.0314.24*-5

Personal care and service

2.21.7*15.0314.29*-5

Sales and related

9.88.5*20.7021.383

Office and administrative support

13.312.1*19.7318.80*-5

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.30.2*15.0713.70*-9

Construction and extraction

4.23.4*25.2822.22*-12

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.94.4*24.1023.47-3

Production

6.215.8*19.3018.04*-7

Transportation and material moving

8.510.0*18.2316.49*-10

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Grand Rapids had 89,780 jobs in production, accounting for 15.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.04, significantly below the national wage of $19.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (18,680); inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (5,840); and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (5,580). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were gas plant operators and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $37.68 and $30.70, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($12.34) and helpers--production workers ($12.56). (Detailed data for the production occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/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 area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, tool and die makers were employed at 9.7 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic, at 6.3 times the U.S. average. Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders had a location quotient of 1.1 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 & Budget.

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 www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm#qf10.

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 www.bls.gov/oes/current/msa_def.htm.


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 www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,419 establishments with a response rate of 74 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

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 www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm.

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 www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

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 Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa Counties.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed information about the OES program is available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_doc.htm.

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 production occupations, Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Production occupations

89,7802.5$18.04$37,520

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

5,5802.330.7063,850

Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers

(5)(5)15.1731,550

Engine and other machine assemblers

5203.020.4442,520

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

(5)(5)18.1537,760

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

600.816.6934,720

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

18,6803.516.3634,020

Bakers

1,0501.513.2227,500

Butchers and meat cutters

3500.714.6330,430

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

3100.514.1029,340

Slaughterers and meat packers

4301.514.4830,120

Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders

2803.415.2431,700

Food batchmakers

1,0301.718.7839,070

Food cooking machine operators and tenders

400.316.5734,460

Food processing workers, all other

(5)(5)14.0829,280

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

2700.915.8632,980

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

901.519.5040,560

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

4,1405.516.4034,110

Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

401.117.7936,990

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

9603.217.3336,050

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

(5)(5)18.8939,290

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

2102.921.6545,030

Machinists

4,0702.820.3742,370

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

(5)(5)17.1135,600

Pourers and casters, metal

501.516.0133,290

Model makers, metal and plastic

(5)(5)24.8751,720

Foundry mold and coremakers

4206.219.1739,870

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

4,2006.315.2431,700

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

9901.817.9637,350

Tool and die makers

2,6509.725.3852,790

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

2,6001.619.0939,710

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders

5804.318.2137,880

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

1201.617.7536,910

Plating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

5303.313.7228,540

Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

401.621.0043,680

Metal workers and plastic workers, all other

(5)(5)12.6926,390

Prepress technicians and workers

400.420.6742,990

Printing press operators

9601.418.2137,880

Print binding and finishing workers

1801.018.3538,160

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

9801.212.3425,660

Sewing machine operators

3400.715.9833,240

Shoe and leather workers and repairers

2206.414.9431,080

Textile cutting machine setters, operators, and tenders

400.716.5934,510

Textile winding, twisting, and drawing out machine setters, operators, and tenders

600.512.8626,750

Upholsterers

2001.815.6732,590

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

1,7004.418.5138,490

Furniture finishers

1502.517.2335,840

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

2201.117.4836,350

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

8602.816.8835,120

Stationary engineers and boiler operators

(5)(5)28.4559,180

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

2900.623.5348,950

Gas plant operators

400.737.6878,380

Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders

2401.217.9537,330

Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5)(5)19.1939,910

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

(5)(5)16.4834,280

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

5201.117.5036,400

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

4301.917.2035,780

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

6602.418.8739,260

Furnace, kiln, oven, drier, and kettle operators and tenders

(5)(5)23.2148,280

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

5,8402.616.6034,540

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

1201.317.9837,400

Dental laboratory technicians

2301.819.4240,400

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians

800.718.6638,810

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

4,9203.315.4032,030

Painting, coating, and decorating workers

(5)(5)14.2329,590

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

1,4102.516.8635,070

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

1,4502.522.1546,070

Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

4804.925.1352,270

Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders

1703.218.0337,500

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

1502.415.9533,170

Etchers and engravers

501.316.8535,050

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

(5)(5)14.5830,330

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

1,0302.717.9237,260

Helpers--production workers

3,5503.012.5626,130

Production workers, all other

1,9902.314.2629,670

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_24340.htm.
(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.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, May 14, 2020