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18-430-CHI
Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Grand Rapids-Wyoming — May 2017

Workers in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.53 in May 2017, about 12 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, 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 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; transportation and material moving; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 12 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support; 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 Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2017
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Grand Rapids United States Grand Rapids Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.34 $21.53* -12

Management

5.1 4.4* 57.65 53.48* -7

Business and financial operations

5.2 4.5* 36.70 30.49* -17

Computer and mathematical

3.0 1.8* 43.18 31.82* -26

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.6* 41.44 34.13* -18

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 (2) 35.76 27.68* -23

Community and social service

1.5 1.4 23.10 22.46 -3

Legal

0.8 0.4* 51.62 37.01* -28

Education, training, and library

6.1 5.1* 26.67 24.25* -9

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.6* 28.34 19.62* -31

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 6.0 38.83 35.67* -8

Healthcare support

2.9 2.7 15.05 14.75 -2

Protective service

2.4 1.3* 22.69 19.78* -13

Food preparation and serving related

9.3 7.9* 11.88 11.48* -3

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 3.4 13.91 12.87* -7

Personal care and service

3.6 2.6* 13.11 12.92 -1

Sales and related

10.2 9.4* 19.56 19.83 1

Office and administrative support

15.4 14.0* 18.24 17.58* -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 13.87 12.54* -10

Construction and extraction

4.0 3.1* 24.01 21.90* -9

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.1 23.02 21.81* -5

Production

6.3 14.8* 18.30 16.72* -9

Transportation and material moving

7.0 8.2* 17.82 16.01* -10

Footnotes:
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Grand Rapids-Wyoming had 81,480 jobs in production, accounting for 14.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.72, significantly below the national wage of $18.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers (17,530); packaging and filling machine operators and tenders (5,940); and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (5,540). Among the higher paying jobs in this group were power distributors and dispatchers with mean hourly wages of $36.86 and gas plant operators at $34.57 per hour. At the lower end of the wage scale were pressers, textile, garment, and related materials ($11.17) and tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers ($11.32). (Detailed data for 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-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical 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 8.2 times the national rate in Grand Rapids, and molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic, at 5.4 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bakers had a location quotient of 1.0 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, and Budget.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at www.bls.gov/oes/changes_2017.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.


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 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, 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.

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 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 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,540 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

The May 2017 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and 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, Mich. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Barry, Kent, Montcalm, and Ottawa Counties.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/midwest. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf.

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, Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2017
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

81,480 2.3 $16.72 $34,780

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

4,400 1.9 29.50 61,370

Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

60 1.1 15.24 31,700

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

4,430 4.4 15.07 31,350

Engine and other machine assemblers

550 3.8 21.87 45,500

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

320 1.1 19.50 40,560

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

30 0.4 14.83 30,850

Assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers

17,530 3.5 14.27 29,680

Bakers

690 1.0 12.07 25,120

Butchers and meat cutters

280 0.6 13.85 28,810

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

230 0.4 12.72 26,460

Slaughterers and meat packers

410 1.4 13.59 28,270

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

340 4.2 16.12 33,540

Food batchmakers

620 1.1 16.66 34,640

Food cooking machine operators and tenders

30 0.2 16.58 34,480

Food processing workers, all other

100 0.6 14.83 30,850

Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic

1,760 3.2 20.37 42,370

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic

350 3.8 22.78 47,380

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

290 1.0 14.84 30,860

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

(5) (5) 19.78 41,150

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

3,370 4.6 15.03 31,260

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

130 3.1 20.44 42,510

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

540 1.9 17.99 37,420

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

200 1.8 20.70 43,050

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

160 2.4 21.64 45,020

Machinists

3,210 2.2 21.04 43,770

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

(5) (5) 17.38 36,140

Model makers, metal and plastic

(5) (5) 25.69 53,440

Foundry mold and coremakers

170 3.2 18.20 37,860

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

3,220 5.4 15.10 31,410

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

2,080 4.4 14.68 30,520

Tool and die makers

2,320 8.2 24.12 50,160

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

2,110 1.5 18.06 37,560

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

530 3.6 17.76 36,940

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

90 1.1 17.78 36,990

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

490 3.4 14.15 29,430

Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

80 2.4 19.06 39,650

Metal workers and plastic workers, all other

110 1.3 14.43 30,010

Prepress technicians and workers

200 1.7 18.50 38,490

Printing press operators

760 1.1 18.03 37,510

Print binding and finishing workers

380 2.0 15.80 32,870

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

890 1.1 12.44 25,890

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

(5) (5) 11.17 23,240

Sewing machine operators

360 0.7 13.00 27,040

Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers

(5) (5) 11.32 23,540

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

80 1.1 17.00 35,370

Upholsterers

100 0.8 15.04 31,270

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

710 1.9 17.77 36,960

Furniture finishers

330 4.8 16.53 34,390

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

260 1.3 17.09 35,540

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

1,040 3.4 14.18 29,490

Power distributors and dispatchers

70 1.5 36.86 76,670

Power plant operators

160 1.2 32.39 67,370

Stationary engineers and boiler operators

50 0.4 29.05 60,420

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

210 0.5 23.96 49,840

Chemical plant and system operators

(5) (5) 23.62 49,130

Gas plant operators

70 1.3 34.57 71,900

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

60 0.2 22.34 46,470

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

270 1.5 18.33 38,120

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

80 0.7 16.50 34,310

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

320 2.7 14.43 30,010

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

640 1.3 16.88 35,110

Cutters and trimmers, hand

(5) (5) 14.85 30,880

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

460 2.0 16.07 33,430

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

270 0.9 16.72 34,770

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

(5) (5) 19.66 40,900

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

5,540 2.7 14.98 31,160

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

120 1.2 19.38 40,300

Dental laboratory technicians

180 1.3 18.54 38,560

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians

90 0.8 16.97 35,290

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

5,940 3.9 14.65 30,470

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

1,010 3.0 13.32 27,710

Painters, transportation equipment

150 0.7 20.33 42,280

Painting, coating, and decorating workers

150 3.0 16.93 35,210

Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

40 0.5 13.66 28,420

Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders

(5) (5) 16.95 35,250

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

210 3.2 16.34 33,980

Cooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders

(5) (5) 15.60 32,440

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

(5) (5) 12.59 26,180

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

820 2.2 16.97 35,300

Helpers--production workers

3,840 2.5 12.19 25,360

Production workers, all other

1,970 2.0 20.26 42,140

Footnotes:
(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_24340.htm.
(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) Estimate not released.

 

Last Modified Date: Thursday, May 24, 2018