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News Release Information

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Elkhart-Goshen — May 2019

Workers in the Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.48 in May 2019, about 16 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. Nineteen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Elkhart area employment was more highly concentrated in 2 of the 22 occupational groups: production; and installation, maintenance, and repair. Conversely, sixteen groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related, educational instruction and library, and office and administrative support. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Elkhart United States Elkhart Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $25.72 $21.48* -16


5.5 3.5* 58.88 51.24* -13

Business and financial operations

5.6 2.7* 37.56 29.06* -23

Computer and mathematical

3.1 1.1* 45.08 31.48* -30

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6 42.69 31.58* -26

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.2* 37.28 33.08* -11

Community and social service

1.5 0.6* 24.27 21.36* -12


0.8 0.2* 52.71 32.64* -38

Educational instruction and library

6.1 3.1* 27.75 21.10* -24

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.6* 29.79 20.20* -32

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 3.8* 40.21 35.66* -11

Healthcare support

4.4 2.1* 14.91 14.19* -5

Protective service

2.4 0.9* 23.98 20.25* -16

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 5.8* 12.82 11.40* -11

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.0 1.7* 15.03 14.01* -7

Personal care and service

2.2 0.6* 15.03 13.29* -12

Sales and related

9.8 6.9* 20.70 20.58 -1

Office and administrative support

13.3 10.3* 19.73 18.78* -5

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2) 15.07 15.37 2

Construction and extraction

4.2 3.9 25.28 22.48* -11

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.2* 24.10 22.60* -6


6.2 38.0* 19.30 19.97 3

Transportation and material moving

8.5 8.1 18.23 17.25* -5

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released.
* 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. Elkhart had 52,060 jobs in production, accounting for 38.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $19.97, compared to the national wage of $19.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (20,130), first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (2,770), and welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (2,640). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and tool and die makers, with mean hourly wages of $30.87 and $25.65, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.77) and bakers ($12.44). (Detailed data for the production 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 Elkhart area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, fiberglass laminators and fabricators were employed at 92.8 times the national rate in Elkhart, and cabinetmakers and bench carpenters, at 24.8 times the U.S. average.

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.

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 and

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

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

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 Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,289 establishments with a response rate of 79 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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

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

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 Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Elkhart County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed information about the OES program is available 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 for production occupations, Elkhart-Goshen, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

52,060 6.1 $19.97 $41,540

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

2,770 4.7 30.87 64,210

Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

70 6.0 16.60 34,530

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

(5) (5) 15.70 32,660

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

(5) (5) 18.34 38,150

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

1,730 92.8 18.01 37,460

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

20,130 15.8 22.06 45,890


100 0.6 12.44 25,880

Butchers and meat cutters

60 0.5 14.19 29,510

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

(5) (5) 12.52 26,040

Food batchmakers

80 0.5 15.21 31,640

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

280 4.0 15.87 33,020

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

220 7.2 17.74 36,900

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

2,250 12.4 17.17 35,720

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

700 9.9 17.10 35,570

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

40 2.4 18.25 37,960


900 2.5 19.39 40,330

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

(5) (5) 17.66 36,720

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

1,270 7.9 15.97 33,220

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

300 2.2 17.41 36,210

Tool and die makers

390 6.0 25.65 53,350

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

2,640 6.9 19.28 40,090

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

170 5.2 17.13 35,620

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

110 2.8 16.44 34,200

Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

(5) (5) 19.18 39,900

Printing press operators

240 1.5 15.90 33,070

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

130 0.7 9.77 20,310

Sewing machine operators

530 4.3 14.87 30,920

Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers

50 2.1 15.23 31,680

Extruding and forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, synthetic and glass fibers

(5) (5) 19.09 39,700


610 22.4 16.76 34,850

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

2,290 24.8 17.01 35,390

Furniture finishers

240 16.1 15.77 32,790

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

530 11.2 17.04 35,430

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

530 7.3 15.62 32,490

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

80 0.7 20.95 43,580

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

90 1.1 22.06 45,890

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

30 1.1 14.73 30,640

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

60 2.2 17.14 35,640

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

380 3.2 20.00 41,590

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

350 6.5 13.72 28,550

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

160 2.4 15.33 31,880

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

1,750 3.3 19.22 39,970

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

1,010 2.8 15.47 32,180

Painting, coating, and decorating workers

130 11.2 17.39 36,160

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

(5) (5) 18.32 38,110

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

810 5.8 20.04 41,680

Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders

150 11.8 17.76 36,940

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

130 3.2 17.07 35,500

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

130 1.4 15.19 31,600

Helpers--production workers

1,660 5.9 15.98 33,230

Production workers, all other

210 1.0 15.36 31,950

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Elkhart-Goshen, IN 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.
(5) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2020