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News Release Information

Friday, July 12, 2024

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette-West Lafayette — May 2023

Workers in the Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $26.73 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 ($57.34), healthcare practitioners and technical ($44.50), and architecture and engineering ($42.43). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($14.02), personal care and service ($15.84), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($16.61). (See table A.)

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Lafayette area included production (15.8 percent), office and administrative support (10.1 percent), and food preparation and serving related (9.6 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.4 percent); life, physical, and social science (1.0 percent); and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media (1.2 percent). (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 26.73


6.9 4.7 66.23 57.34

Business and financial operations

6.6 3.6 43.55 36.37

Computer and mathematical

3.4 1.8 54.39 38.81

Architecture and engineering

1.7 2.3 47.64 42.43

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 1.0 42.24 33.97

Community and social service

1.6 1.7 28.36 23.81


0.8 0.4 64.34 41.61

Educational instruction and library

5.8 7.5 31.92 35.20

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.2 36.31 32.16

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 5.8 49.07 44.50

Healthcare support

4.7 4.0 18.37 17.35

Protective service

2.3 1.6 27.74 23.64

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.6 16.58 14.02

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.1 18.43 16.61

Personal care and service

2.0 1.7 18.48 15.84

Sales and related

8.8 7.3 25.62 21.15

Office and administrative support

12.2 10.1 23.05 21.52

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2 19.22 22.13

Construction and extraction

4.1 3.7 29.57 29.14

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.9 28.13 26.32


5.8 15.8 22.90 23.35

Transportation and material moving

9.1 9.0 22.45 19.52

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 15,770 jobs in production, accounting for 15.8 percent of local area employment, compared to the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $23.35, compared to the national wage of $22.90.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (7,650), first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (690), and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (590). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were stationary engineers and boiler operators and tool and die makers, with mean hourly wages of $34.62 and $32.88, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($14.56) and bakers ($14.97). (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 Lafayette area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators were employed at 7.8 times the national rate in Lafayette, and crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders, at 6.9 times the U.S. average. Bakers had a location quotient of 0.9 in Lafayette, 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, the Indiana Department of 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 Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,129 establishments with a response rate of 73 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 Lafayette-West Lafayette, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Benton County, Carroll County, and Tippecanoe 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 production occupations, Lafayette metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

15,770 2.7 23.35 48,560

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

690 1.6 32.44 67,480

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

130 0.8 18.30 38,060

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

7,650 7.8 (5) (5)


130 0.9 14.97 31,140

Butchers and meat cutters

60 0.6 18.31 38,090

Food batchmakers

110 1.0 (5) (5)

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

360 3.1 18.46 38,390

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

50 1.0 23.72 49,330


400 2.1 24.41 50,770

Tool and die makers

50 1.4 32.88 68,380

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

470 1.7 22.81 47,440

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

60 2.7 24.68 51,330

Printing press operators

40 0.4 23.41 48,690

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

70 0.6 14.56 30,290

Sewing machine operators

110 1.5 16.41 34,130

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

80 1.4 15.49 32,220

Stationary engineers and boiler operators

40 1.6 34.62 72,010

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

120 1.5 24.13 50,190

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

40 1.2 19.93 41,460

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

120 6.9 21.00 43,680

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

110 1.6 21.33 44,370

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

590 1.6 22.07 45,900

Dental laboratory technicians

30 1.4 23.38 48,630

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

380 1.5 18.47 38,420

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

180 1.8 22.22 46,210

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

280 2.3 (5) (5)

Helpers--production workers

50 0.4 16.07 33,430

Production workers, all other

110 0.7 21.51 44,730

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Lafayette-West Lafayette, 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: Friday, July 12, 2024