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News Release Information

Monday, May 18, 2020


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Wichita — May 2019

Workers in the Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $22.15 in May 2019, about 14 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Acting Regional Commissioner Susan Mendez noted that, after testing for statistical significance, 19 of the 22 major occupational groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal, computer and mathematical, and educational instruction and library. Wages in the local area were higher than their respective national average in one group: production.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Wichita area employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; installation, maintenance, and repair; and construction and extraction. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, management, 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 Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Wichita United States Wichita Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $25.72 $22.15* -14


5.5 4.0* 58.88 49.27* -16

Business and financial operations

5.6 4.9* 37.56 32.83* -13

Computer and mathematical

3.1 2.0* 45.08 33.79* -25

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.4* 42.69 41.31* -3

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 37.28 29.57* -21

Community and social service

1.5 1.3* 24.27 20.51* -15


0.8 0.5* 52.71 33.09* -37

Educational instruction and library

6.1 6.4 27.75 21.94* -21

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.3 29.79 21.80* -27

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.0 40.21 34.11* -15

Healthcare support

4.4 4.4 14.91 13.29* -11

Protective service

2.4 1.9* 23.98 19.91* -17

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.2 12.82 10.72* -16

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.0 2.6* 15.03 13.62* -9

Personal care and service

2.2 2.2 15.03 13.78* -8

Sales and related

9.8 8.8* 20.70 18.92* -9

Office and administrative support

13.3 13.7 19.73 17.78* -10

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 15.07 15.95 6

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.8* 25.28 20.69* -18

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.0* 24.10 23.59 -2


6.2 11.2* 19.30 22.60* 17

Transportation and material moving

8.5 6.9* 18.23 17.03* -7

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* 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. Wichita had 33,840 jobs in production, accounting for 11.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $22.60, significantly above the national wage of $19.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (2,840); machinists (1,670); and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,660). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were computer numerically controlled tool programmers, and tool and die makers, with mean hourly wages of $40.58 and $34.33, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($11.23) and bakers ($11.67). (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 Wichita area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, metal and plastic layout workers were employed at 33.1 times the national rate in Wichita, and computer numerically controlled tool programmers, at 7.0 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 Kansas Department of Labor.

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

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 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 Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,457 establishments with a response rate of 77 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 Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick, and Sumner Counties.

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, Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

33,840 1.8 $22.60 $47,000

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

1,660 1.3 31.45 65,410

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers

(5) (5) 26.07 54,220

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

810 1.4 16.88 35,110

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

40 0.9 15.27 31,760

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

3,310 1.2 17.08 35,520


250 0.7 11.67 24,280

Butchers and meat cutters

(5) (5) 17.14 35,650

Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers

(5) (5) 13.88 28,860

Food batchmakers

80 0.2 11.67 24,260

Food processing workers, all other

(5) (5) 13.18 27,410

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

140 0.9 16.73 34,800

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

60 1.9 19.17 39,870

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

(5) (5) 15.69 32,630

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

310 0.8 16.77 34,890

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

420 2.7 15.61 32,470

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

70 1.2 18.87 39,250

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

40 0.9 18.42 38,310


1,670 2.1 19.93 41,460

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

270 0.8 15.87 33,000

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

120 0.4 17.78 36,990

Tool and die makers

590 4.0 34.33 71,400

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

1,590 1.9 22.21 46,200

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

70 1.8 19.75 41,080

Layout workers, metal and plastic

560 33.1 26.66 55,450

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

130 1.5 14.87 30,930

Prepress technicians and workers

60 1.0 19.02 39,550

Printing press operators

500 1.4 15.76 32,780

Print binding and finishing workers

100 1.1 14.77 30,730

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

520 1.2 11.23 23,360

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

40 0.5 11.07 23,030

Sewing machine operators

400 1.5 14.76 30,690

Tailors, dressmakers, and custom sewers

40 0.8 11.81 24,570


230 3.8 (5) (5)

Textile, apparel, and furnishings workers, all other

(5) (5) 11.86 24,660

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

310 1.5 21.30 44,310

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

50 0.5 14.03 29,180

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

330 2.0 14.03 29,180

Power plant operators

60 0.9 19.95 41,490

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

180 0.7 18.39 38,240

Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers

(5) (5) 31.49 65,500

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

300 1.7 (5) (5)

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

50 0.7 17.41 36,220

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

110 1.8 15.02 31,240

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

290 1.1 15.25 31,730

Cutters and trimmers, hand

30 1.7 15.23 31,690

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

90 0.7 13.25 27,560

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

40 0.3 21.39 44,500

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

2,840 2.4 25.52 53,080

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

50 1.0 22.85 47,520

Dental laboratory technicians

40 0.6 20.67 43,000

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

710 0.9 15.69 32,640

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

910 3.0 21.47 44,650

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

830 2.6 23.16 48,170

Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

370 7.0 40.58 84,400

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

(5) (5) 16.42 34,150

Etchers and engravers

(5) (5) 13.68 28,450

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

(5) (5) 20.88 43,420

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

50 0.3 17.17 35,710

Helpers--production workers

540 0.9 15.84 32,950

Production workers, all other

220 0.5 16.70 34,740

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Wichita, KS 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, May 18, 2020