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News Release Information

Thursday, July 17, 2014

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  • (972) 850-4800

Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette, May 2013

Workers in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.93 in May 2013, about 15 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 16 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; legal; and personal care and service. Wages were measurably higher than their respective national averages in only one group, production.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction; installation, maintenance, and repair; and transportation and material moving. Conversely, ten groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including education, training, and library; business and financial operations; 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 Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesLafayette United StatesLafayette Percent

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0% $22.33$18.93*-15



Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science

0.90.6*33.3733.48 0

Community and social service

1.41.1*21.5020.50 -5


0.80.9 47.8936.61*-24

Education, training, and library

6.34.1*24.7623.92 -3

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.85.9 35.9329.89*-17

Healthcare support

3.03.1 13.6111.02*-19

Protective service


Food preparation and serving related

9.08.8 10.389.54*-8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3NA 11.70NA NA

Construction and extraction


Installation, maintenance, and repair



6.67.0 16.7918.27*9

Transportation and material moving

6.88.9*16.2816.94 4
(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Lafayette is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The percent share of employment or mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.
NA: estimate is not available.

One occupational group–construction and extraction–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 10,550 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 6.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.8-percent share nationally. However, at $19.07 per hour, the local average hourly wage for this occupational group was measurably below the national average of $21.94.

With employment of 1,600, oil, gas, and mining service unit operators was one of the largest occupations within the construction and extraction group, followed by oil and gas roustabouts (1,290), and construction laborers (1,190). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, and oil and gas rotary drill operators, with mean hourly wages of $30.57 and $24.62, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were carpenters’ helpers ($11.39) and extraction workers’ helpers ($12.23). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of all detailed occupations, see

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 Lafayette metropolitan area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, local oil, gas, and mining service unit operators were employed at 23.2 times the U.S. average, the fourth highest location quotient for this job among all U.S. metropolitan areas, while oil and gas roustabouts were employed at 16.2 times the national rate, the ninth highest ratio in the country. On the other hand, carpenters had a location quotient of 1.0 in Lafayette, 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 Louisiana Workforce Commission.


OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Lafayette 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.

Technical Note

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 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,984 establishments with a response rate of 73 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 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. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and, respectively.

The May 2013 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2012 NAICS is available at

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 Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Lafayette and St. Martin Parishes in Louisiana.

Additional information
OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request – Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages

Construction and extraction occupations


First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers




Cement masons and concrete finishers


Construction laborers


Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators


Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators


Drywall and ceiling tile installers






Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall


Painters, construction and maintenance


Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters




Sheet metal workers


Structural iron and steel workers






Helpers–pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters


Construction and building inspectors


Septic tank servicers and sewer pipe cleaners


Construction and related workers, all other


Derrick operators, oil and gas


Rotary drill operators, oil and gas


Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining


Mining machine operators, all other


Roustabouts, oil and gas


Helpers–extraction workers


Extraction workers, all other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Lafayette MSA, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations 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) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, July 17, 2014