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News Release Information

Monday, July 15, 2024

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Des Moines-West Des Moines — May 2023

Workers in the Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $30.19 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 ($57.87), computer and mathematical ($48.80), and healthcare practitioners and technical ($46.88). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($15.33), personal care and service ($16.44), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($17.72). (See table A.)

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Des Moines area included office and administrative support (12.7 percent), sales and related (9.3 percent), and business and financial operations (9.1 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.9 percent); life, physical, and social science (0.9 percent); and architecture and engineering (1.3 percent). (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 30.19


6.9 7.2 66.23 57.87

Business and financial operations

6.6 9.1 43.55 39.95

Computer and mathematical

3.4 4.6 54.39 48.80

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.3 47.64 42.14

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.9 42.24 33.23

Community and social service

1.6 1.4 28.36 26.91


0.8 0.9 64.34 45.89

Educational instruction and library

5.8 5.8 31.92 25.32

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.5 36.31 28.73

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 5.7 49.07 46.88

Healthcare support

4.7 3.4 18.37 19.27

Protective service

2.3 1.7 27.74 27.17

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 7.9 16.58 15.33

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.8 18.43 17.72

Personal care and service

2.0 1.9 18.48 16.44

Sales and related

8.8 9.3 25.62 25.39

Office and administrative support

12.2 12.7 23.05 23.27

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2 19.22 21.70

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.8 29.57 29.65

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.7 28.13 27.55


5.8 4.5 22.90 22.46

Transportation and material moving

9.1 8.7 22.45 22.73

One occupational group—business and financial operations—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Des Moines had 34,890 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 9.1 percent of local area employment, compared to the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $39.95, compared to the national wage of $43.55.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the business and financial operations group included accountants and auditors (4,630), market research analysts and marketing specialists (3,230), and management analysts (2,680). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were financial risk specialists and personal financial advisors, with mean hourly wages of $56.76 and $55.44, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were credit counselors ($23.61) and meeting, convention, and event planners ($27.76). (Detailed data for the business and financial operations 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 Des Moines area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, financial examiners were employed at 4.9 times the national rate in Des Moines, and insurance underwriters, at 4.1 times the U.S. average. Buyers and purchasing agents had a location quotient of 1.0 in Des Moines, 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 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,005 establishments with a response rate of 57 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 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Dallas County, Guthrie County, Madison County, Polk County, and Warren 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 business and financial operations occupations, Des Moines metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Business and financial operations occupations

34,890 1.4 39.95 83,100

Buyers and purchasing agents

1,200 1.0 37.17 77,310

Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

1,870 2.5 33.83 70,360

Insurance appraisers, auto damage

40 1.9 34.15 71,040

Compliance officers

1,210 1.3 40.77 84,800

Cost estimators

640 1.2 35.71 74,270

Human resources specialists

2,210 1.0 36.10 75,090

Labor relations specialists

190 1.2 36.24 75,380


500 0.9 40.33 83,880

Project management specialists

2,410 1.0 44.19 91,910

Management analysts

2,680 1.3 45.54 94,720

Meeting, convention, and event planners

310 1.0 27.76 57,730


310 1.2 31.89 66,340

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

380 1.5 34.13 70,990

Training and development specialists

1,510 1.5 33.83 70,370

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

3,230 1.5 36.29 75,490

Business operations specialists, all other

4,140 1.5 39.75 82,680

Accountants and auditors

4,630 1.3 38.67 80,440

Property appraisers and assessors

200 1.3 50.86 105,790

Budget analysts

170 1.4 40.44 84,120

Credit analysts

620 3.4 52.41 109,010

Financial and investment analysts

1,150 1.4 46.63 96,990

Personal financial advisors

670 1.0 55.44 115,320

Insurance underwriters

1,040 4.1 39.12 81,380

Financial risk specialists

340 2.4 56.76 118,070

Financial examiners

780 4.9 44.58 92,720

Credit counselors

120 1.7 23.61 49,100

Loan officers

1,000 1.2 43.10 89,650

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

100 0.8 33.98 70,680

Tax preparers

180 0.9 29.28 60,890

Financial specialists, all other

1,050 3.4 41.62 86,570

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Des Moines-West Des Moines, 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