Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

News Release Information

Monday, July 15, 2024

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Ames — May 2023

Workers in the Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.81 in May 2023, compared to the nationwide average of $31.48, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that higher paying major occupational groups included management ($53.14), legal ($46.68), and computer and mathematical ($43.41). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($15.00), personal care and service ($17.20), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($17.81). (See table A.)

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Ames area included office and administrative support (10.2 percent), food preparation and serving related (10.0 percent), and educational instruction and library (8.5 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.3 percent), protective service (1.1 percent), and community and social service (1.4 percent). (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Ames metropolitan area, May 2023
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage ($)
United States Ames United States Ames

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 27.81


6.9 6.8 66.23 53.14

Business and financial operations

6.6 6.6 43.55 35.46

Computer and mathematical

3.4 3.2 54.39 43.41

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.4 47.64 42.26

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 3.2 42.24 32.86

Community and social service

1.6 1.4 28.36 25.23


0.8 0.3 64.34 46.68

Educational instruction and library

5.8 8.5 31.92 31.72

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.5 36.31 25.88

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 5.4 49.07 38.77

Healthcare support

4.7 3.6 18.37 19.27

Protective service

2.3 1.1 27.74 28.25

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 10.0 16.58 15.00

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.3 18.43 17.81

Personal care and service

2.0 2.4 18.48 17.20

Sales and related

8.8 8.1 25.62 22.06

Office and administrative support

12.2 10.2 23.05 21.73

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.3 19.22 21.44

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.1 29.57 27.00

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.8 28.13 26.73


5.8 7.8 22.90 23.54

Transportation and material moving

9.1 6.2 22.45 20.11

One occupational group—office and administrative support—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Ames had 4,840 jobs in office and administrative support, accounting for 10.2 percent of local area employment, compared to the 12.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $21.73, compared to the national wage of $23.05.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the office and administrative support group included office clerks, general (780), customer service representatives (590), and secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive (510). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers and production, planning, and expediting clerks, with mean hourly wages of $32.57 and $31.56, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks ($13.79) and receptionists and information clerks ($15.29). (Detailed data for the office and administrative support occupations 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 Ames area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the office and administrative support group. For instance, executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants were employed at 1.6 times the national rate in Ames, and tellers, at 1.4 times the U.S. average. Office clerks, general had a location quotient of 1.0 in Ames, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

The statistics in this release are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support. State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data: in this case, Iowa Workforce Development.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS 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. Full OEWS data tables are available online.

Additional information about the OEWS estimates and methodology are available in the national Technical Notes. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.8 percent based on establishments and 64.3 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 834 establishments with a response rate of 67 percent.

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 Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Story County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data, as well as general program documentation, are available on the OEWS website.

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for office and administrative support occupations, Ames metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Office and administrative support occupations

4,840 0.8 21.73 45,200

First-line supervisors of office and administrative support workers

250 0.5 32.57 67,750

Billing and posting clerks

80 0.6 21.35 44,420

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

380 0.8 23.22 48,290


150 1.4 17.81 37,040

Court, municipal, and license clerks

50 1.1 25.31 52,650

Customer service representatives

590 0.7 19.87 41,320

Hotel, motel, and resort desk clerks

110 1.4 13.79 28,690

Library assistants, clerical

90 3.5 19.65 40,880

Loan interviewers and clerks

70 1.2 21.97 45,690

Order clerks

30 1.1 20.62 42,900

Receptionists and information clerks

170 0.5 15.29 31,790

Information and record clerks, all other

60 1.3 23.85 49,600

Public safety telecommunicators

30 1.0 27.00 56,160

Dispatchers, except police, fire, and ambulance

30 0.5 27.06 56,290

Postal service mail carriers

90 0.9 28.59 59,460

Production, planning, and expediting clerks

90 0.7 31.56 65,640

Shipping, receiving, and inventory clerks

250 1.0 21.65 45,020

Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants

230 1.6 28.03 58,310

Medical secretaries and administrative assistants

330 1.4 18.01 37,460

Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

510 0.9 21.99 45,750

Data entry keyers

40 0.9 17.34 36,070

Office clerks, general

780 1.0 20.28 42,180

Office and administrative support workers, all other

80 1.5 16.65 34,620

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Ames, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(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.


Last Modified Date: Monday, July 15, 2024