News Release Information
Thursday, July 18, 2013
Occupational Employment and Wages in Buffalo-Niagara Falls, May 2012
Workers in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.54 in May 2012, about 7 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 14 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal, computer and mathematical, and architecture and engineering. Five groups had significantly higher wages than their national averages, including protective service, construction and extraction, and production.
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Buffalo||United States||Buffalo||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Buffalo is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 4 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support, education, training, and library, and personal care and service. Conversely, eight groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, management, and architecture and engineering. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
One occupational group—education, training, and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Buffalo-Niagara Falls had 41,420 jobs in education, training, and library, accounting for 7.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.4-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $22.83, measurably below the national wage of $24.62.
With employment of 7,870, teacher assistants was the largest occupation within the education, training, and library group, followed by elementary school teachers, except special education (4,770) and substitute teachers (4,190). Among the higher paying jobs were postsecondary economics and computer science teachers, with mean annual wages of $99,710 and $81,850 respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were teacher assistants ($23,680) and graduate teaching assistants ($19,330). (Detailed occupational data for education, training, and library are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_15380.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 Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the education, training, and library group. For instance, education teachers, postsecondary were employed at 2.6 times the national rate in Buffalo, and self-enrichment education teachers, at 2.2 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, instructional coordinators had a location quotient of 1.0 in Buffalo, 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 New York State Department of Labor.
With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc.
The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Buffalo Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.
NOTE: 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 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,891 establishments with a response rate of 77 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Erie and Niagara Counties.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/new-york-new-jersey. 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/2012/may/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.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
Education, Training, and Library Occupations
Business Teachers, Postsecondary
Computer Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Mathematical Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary
Physics Teachers, Postsecondary
Anthropology and Archeology Teachers, Postsecondary
Economics Teachers, Postsecondary
Political Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Psychology Teachers, Postsecondary
Sociology Teachers, Postsecondary
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary
Education Teachers, Postsecondary
Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Teachers, Postsecondary
Social Work Teachers, Postsecondary
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
Communications Teachers, Postsecondary
English Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
Foreign Language and Literature Teachers, Postsecondary
History Teachers, Postsecondary
Philosophy and Religion Teachers, Postsecondary
Graduate Teaching Assistants
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
Vocational Education Teachers, Postsecondary
Postsecondary Teachers, All Other
Preschool Teachers, Except Special Education
Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education
Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education
Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education
Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School
Special Education Teachers, Preschool
Special Education Teachers, Kindergarten and Elementary School
Special Education Teachers, Middle School
Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors
Self-Enrichment Education Teachers
Teachers and Instructors, All Other, Except Substitute Teachers
Audio-Visual and Multimedia Collections Specialists
Education, Training, and Library Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 18, 2013