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News Release Information

Thursday, June 04, 2020

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Syracuse — May 2019

Workers in the Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $25.07 in May 2019, about 3 percent below the nationwide average of $25.72, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 6 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service, educational instruction and library, and food preparation and serving related. Seven groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; life, physical, and social science; and computer and mathematical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Syracuse area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including educational instruction and library; installation, maintenance, and repair; and office and administrative support. Conversely, eleven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including computer and mathematical, business and financial operations, and management. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2019
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesSyracuseUnited StatesSyracusePercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations




Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social service




Educational instruction and library


Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical


Healthcare support


Protective service


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 the Syracuse, NY 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—educational instruction and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Syracuse had 28,020 jobs in educational instruction and library, accounting for 9.2 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent share nationally. The average annual wage for this occupational group locally was $62,830, significantly above the national wage of $57,710.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the educational instruction and library group included teaching assistants, except postsecondary (5,310), elementary school teachers, except special education (3,380), and secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education (2,560). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were postsecondary economics and political science teachers, with mean annual wages of $114,850 and $105,230, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were teaching assistants, except postsecondary ($31,100) and library technicians ($32,590). (Detailed data for the educational instruction and library 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 Syracuse area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the educational instruction and library group. For instance, communications teachers, postsecondary were employed at 6.8 times the national rate in Syracuse, and computer science teachers, postsecondary, at 3.9 times the U.S. average. Elementary school teachers, except special education had a location quotient of 1.1 in Syracuse, 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.

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 Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,675 establishments with a response rate of 79 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 Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego 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 educational instruction and library occupations, Syracuse, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2019
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual (4)

Educational instruction and library occupations


Business teachers, postsecondary


Computer science teachers, postsecondary


Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary


Engineering teachers, postsecondary


Biological science teachers, postsecondary


Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary


Chemistry teachers, postsecondary


Environmental science teachers, postsecondary


Physics teachers, postsecondary


Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary


Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary


Economics teachers, postsecondary


Geography teachers, postsecondary


Political science teachers, postsecondary


Psychology teachers, postsecondary


Sociology teachers, postsecondary


Social sciences teachers, postsecondary, all other


Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary


Education teachers, postsecondary


Criminal justice and law enforcement 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


Recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary


Career/technical 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 education, adult secondary education, and english as a second language instructors


Self-enrichment teachers


Substitute teachers, short-term


Tutors and teachers and instructors, all other


Librarians and media collections specialists


Library technicians


Instructional coordinators


Teaching assistants, postsecondary


Teaching assistants, except postsecondary


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Syracuse, NY 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.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 04, 2020