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Monday, June 27, 2016


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Iowa City — May 2015

Workers in the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $22.29 in May 2015, comparable to 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 11 of the 22 major occupational groups including legal; management; and computer and mathematical. Two groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 2 of the 22 occupational groups: healthcare practitioners and technical, and food preparation and serving related. Conversely, seven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including sales and related; production; 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 Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2015
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Iowa City United States Iowa City Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $23.23 $22.29 -4


5.0 5.1 55.30 42.53* -23

Business and Financial Operations

5.1 4.3 35.48 30.81* -13

Computer and Mathematical

2.9 2.8 41.43 33.39* -19

Architecture and Engineering

1.8 1.0* 39.89 33.75* -15

Life, Physical, and Social Science

0.8 (2) 34.24 26.48* -23

Community and Social Services

1.4 1.7 22.19 22.45 1


0.8 0.3* 49.74 29.58* -41

Education, Training, and Library

6.2 8.4 25.48 38.07 49

Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media

1.3 1.3 27.39 22.88* -16

Healthcare Practitioner and Technical

5.8 8.5* 37.40 35.03 -6

Healthcare Support

2.9 3.3 14.19 15.15 7

Protective Service

2.4 1.7* 21.45 20.13 -6

Food Preparation and Serving Related

9.1 10.4* 10.98 9.91* -10

Building and Grounds Cleaning and Maintenance

3.2 2.8 13.02 14.10* 8

Personal Care and Service

3.1 3.4 12.33 12.17 -1

Sales and Related

10.5 8.5* 18.90 13.82* -27

Office and Administrative Support

15.8 14.7 17.47 17.32 -1

Farming, Fishing, and Forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.67 16.46* 30

Construction and Extraction

4.0 3.6 22.88 21.08* -8

Installation, Maintenance, and Repair

3.9 2.9* 22.11 21.03* -5


6.6 5.1* 17.41 17.75 2

Transportation and Material Moving

6.9 7.8 16.90 16.51 -2

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Iowa City 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—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Iowa City had 7,600 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 8.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $35.03, compared to the national wage of $37.40.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (3,290); medical records and health information technicians (400); and pharmacists (380). Among the higher paying jobs were family and general practitioners ($117.07) and pharmacists ($50.69). At the lower end of the wage scale were opticians, dispensing ($13.51) and emergency medical technicians and paramedics ($15.62). (Detailed occupational data for healthcare practitioners and technical 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 Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, medical records and health information technicians were employed at 3.2 times the national rate in Iowa City, and physician assistants, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, dental hygienists had a location quotient of 1.0 in Iowa City, 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 Iowa 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 Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,195 establishments with a response rate of 70 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 Iowa City, Iowa Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Johnson and Washington 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, Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2015
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations

7,600 1.5 $35.03 $72,860


40 1.8 20.38 42,390

Dietitians and Nutritionists

(5) (5) 27.43 57,060


380 2.0 50.69 105,430

Family and General Practitioners

110 1.3 117.07 243,510

Physicians and Surgeons, All Other

270 1.3 105.38 219,180

Physician Assistants

140 2.2 48.71 101,320

Occupational Therapists

90 1.2 35.04 72,870

Physical Therapists

140 1.1 36.65 76,240

Respiratory Therapists

150 1.9 25.58 53,210

Speech-Language Pathologists

110 1.3 31.81 66,160


50 1.1 31.16 64,820

Registered Nurses

3,290 1.8 30.02 62,440

Nurse Practitioners

200 2.2 45.98 95,640


30 4.1 32.12 66,800

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other

160 6.7 35.95 74,770

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

80 0.7 28.74 59,770

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

220 2.2 20.91 43,500

Dental Hygienists

130 1.0 31.41 65,340

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

80 2.0 29.14 60,600

Radiologic Technologists

190 1.5 26.46 55,030

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

40 0.3 15.62 32,500

Pharmacy Technicians

330 1.3 17.06 35,490

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

30 0.5 17.60 36,610

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

190 0.4 20.80 43,270

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

400 3.2 22.53 46,850

Opticians, Dispensing

70 1.5 13.51 28,110

Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other

110 1.6 23.11 48,080

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

30 0.7 32.57 67,750

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

40 3.5 24.35 50,650

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Iowa City Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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: Monday, June 27, 2016