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News Release Information

Tuesday, July 09, 2024

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (404) 893-4220

Occupational Employment and Wages in Bowling Green — May 2023

Workers in the Bowling Green, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.73 in May 2023, compared to the nationwide average of $31.48, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Victoria G. Lee noted that higher paying major occupational groups included legal ($48.38) and management ($47.66). Lower paying occupations included food preparation and serving related ($13.59), personal care and service ($15.01), and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance ($15.55). (See table A.)

Occupational groups with the highest employment in the Bowling Green area included production (13.4 percent), office and administrative support (11.7 percent), and transportation and material moving (10.2 percent). Major occupational groups on the lower end of local employment included legal (0.5 percent) and life, physical, and social science (0.6 percent). (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 31.48 23.73


6.9 5.4 66.23 47.66

Business and financial operations

6.6 3.5 43.55 33.06

Computer and mathematical

3.4 1.0 54.39 36.66

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.4 47.64 37.50

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.6 42.24 32.93

Community and social service

1.6 1.7 28.36 22.84


0.8 0.5 64.34 48.38

Educational instruction and library

5.8 6.0 31.92 27.91

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.0 36.31 21.33

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 6.5 49.07 37.85

Healthcare support

4.7 4.1 18.37 17.34

Protective service

2.3 1.9 27.74 20.39

Food preparation and serving related

8.7 9.9 16.58 13.59

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.4 18.43 15.55

Personal care and service

2.0 1.8 18.48 15.01

Sales and related

8.8 8.5 25.62 20.35

Office and administrative support

12.2 11.7 23.05 19.26

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 19.22 18.95

Construction and extraction

4.1 3.8 29.57 23.73

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.4 28.13 24.61


5.8 13.4 22.90 21.61

Transportation and material moving

9.1 10.2 22.45 18.76

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Bowling Green had 10,480 jobs in production, accounting for 13.4 percent of local area employment, compared to the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $21.61, compared to the national wage of $22.90.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (3,410); inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (750); and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (700). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and tool and die makers, with mean hourly wages of $31.40 and $30.04, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were textile, garment, and related materials pressers ($12.00) and laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($12.42). (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 Bowling Green 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 4.4 times the national rate in Bowling Green, and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers, at 2.5 times the U.S. average. Laundry and dry-cleaning workers had a location quotient of 1.1 in Bowling Green, 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 Kentucky Department for Workforce Investment.

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 Bowling Green, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,045 establishments with a response rate of 67 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 Bowling Green, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allen County, Butler County, Edmonson County, and Warren 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, Bowling Green metropolitan area, May 2023
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages ($)
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

10,480 2.3 21.61 44,950

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

700 2.0 31.40 65,310

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

100 0.7 18.64 38,780

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

3,410 4.4 22.41 46,610


150 1.3 18.98 39,480

Butchers and meat cutters

50 0.7 15.60 32,450

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

350 3.8 20.76 43,180


150 1.0 24.32 50,580

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

340 4.1 20.74 43,130

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

210 3.2 20.15 41,910

Tool and die makers

170 5.8 30.04 62,480

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

440 2.0 22.75 47,320

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

100 5.9 25.35 52,730

Printing press operators

180 2.3 20.82 43,300

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

110 1.1 12.42 25,820

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

70 4.8 12.00 24,950

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

60 0.9 21.84 45,420

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

150 2.3 23.14 48,140

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

160 2.9 20.37 42,370

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

90 3.2 19.24 40,030

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

750 2.5 19.54 40,640

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

410 2.1 17.61 36,630

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

70 0.8 20.60 42,850

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

150 1.6 22.52 46,850

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

70 3.4 19.62 40,800

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

120 2.5 23.03 47,890

Helpers--production workers

250 2.7 16.08 33,440

Production workers, all other

360 2.9 18.95 39,420

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Bowling Green, KY 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.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, July 09, 2024