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News Release Information

Monday, July 15, 2024

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

Occupational Employment and Wages in Sioux City — May 2023

Workers in the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $25.80 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 ($53.60), legal ($44.41), and computer and mathematical ($42.56). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($14.68), personal care and service ($15.82), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($17.92). (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 25.80


6.9 5.3 66.23 53.60

Business and financial operations

6.6 4.1 43.55 35.97

Computer and mathematical

3.4 1.5 54.39 42.56

Architecture and engineering

1.7 0.9 47.64 40.51

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.8 42.24 31.18

Community and social service

1.6 1.3 28.36 25.12


0.8 0.4 64.34 44.41

Educational instruction and library

5.8 6.3 31.92 24.62

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.1 36.31 27.59

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 5.5 49.07 40.74

Healthcare support

4.7 3.5 18.37 18.80

Protective service

2.3 1.3 27.74 26.45

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 8.2 16.58 14.68

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.0 18.43 17.92

Personal care and service

2.0 1.6 18.48 15.82

Sales and related

8.8 8.3 25.62 21.62

Office and administrative support

12.2 10.2 23.05 21.12

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.4 19.22 21.32

Construction and extraction

4.1 4.0 29.57 26.56

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.1 28.13 27.92


5.8 13.8 22.90 22.49

Transportation and material moving

9.1 13.5 22.45 22.57

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Sioux City area included production (13.8 percent), transportation and material moving (13.5 percent), and office and administrative support (10.2 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.4 percent); life, physical, and social science (0.8 percent); and architecture and engineering (0.9 percent). (See table A.)

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Sioux City had 12,130 jobs in production, accounting for 13.8 percent of local area employment, compared to the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $22.49, compared to the national wage of $22.90.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers (1,860), food batchmakers (1,110), and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (960). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators, with mean hourly wages of $35.19 and $29.12, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($16.25) and butchers and meat cutters ($16.72). (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 Sioux City area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers were employed at 23.2 times the national rate in Sioux City, and food cooking machine operators and tenders, at 15.8 times the U.S. average. Helpers--production workers had a location quotient of 1.2 in Sioux City, 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, the Nebraska Department of Labor, and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

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 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,604 establishments with a response rate of 70 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 Sioux City, IA-NE-SD Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Plymouth County, IA; Woodbury County, IA; Dakota County, NE; Dixon County, NE; and Union County, SD.

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, Sioux City metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

12,130 2.4 22.49 46,780

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

960 2.5 35.19 73,190

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

50 1.5 21.26 44,210

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

410 0.5 19.40 40,340


250 1.9 17.88 37,180

Butchers and meat cutters

270 3.4 16.72 34,770

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

1,860 23.2 20.05 41,710

Food batchmakers

1,110 11.3 23.11 48,070

Food cooking machine operators and tenders

270 15.8 21.38 44,480

Food processing workers, all other

(5) (5) 20.50 42,650

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

100 1.0 19.85 41,290


90 0.6 23.95 49,810

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

70 0.8 20.04 41,690

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

70 0.9 19.54 40,650

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

470 1.9 23.71 49,330

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

110 5.5 23.73 49,360

Printing press operators

70 0.8 19.41 40,360

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

150 1.4 16.25 33,800

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

80 1.2 29.12 60,570

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

130 1.9 (5) (5)

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

100 3.2 24.11 50,150

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

60 4.0 23.86 49,620

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

160 2.5 23.50 48,880

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

90 3.1 21.45 44,610

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

60 1.7 20.46 42,550

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

680 2.0 23.38 48,620

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

820 3.8 19.07 39,660

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

90 1.0 21.66 45,050

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

140 1.3 23.07 47,980

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

40 4.2 25.35 52,730

Cooling and freezing equipment operators and tenders

70 18.4 (5) (5)

Helpers--production workers

120 1.2 22.47 46,730

Production workers, all other

90 0.7 19.51 40,580

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Sioux City, IA-NE-SD 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: Monday, July 15, 2024