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News Release Information

Monday, July 27, 2015

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  • (972) 850-4800

Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette, May 2014

Workers in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.94 in May 2014, about 17 percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, 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 higher than their respective national averages in 2 of the 22 major occupational groups including production workers. Seventeen groups had wages that were measurably lower than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical; legal; and protective service.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including installation, maintenance, and repair; construction and extraction; and production. 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 2014
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesLafayetteUnited StatesLafayettePercent

Total, all occupations

100.0%100.0% $22.71$18.94*-17



Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science

0.80.6*33.6933.80 0

Community and social service



0.80.9 48.6132.87*-32

Education, training, and library

6.23.8*25.1024.05 -4

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.85.7 36.5429.20*-20

Healthcare support

2.92.8 13.8610.74*-23

Protective service


Food preparation and serving related

9.19.1 10.579.45*-11

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3(2) 12.0917.07*41

Construction and extraction


Installation, maintenance, and repair




Transportation and material moving

6.88.5*16.5717.11 3

(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.
(2) Estimates not released.

* 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.

One occupational group–production–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 13,110 jobs in production, accounting for 8.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent national share. More importantly, at $18.85 per hour, the local average hourly wage for this occupational group was about 10 percent higher than the national average of $17.06.

With employment of 2,080, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers was one of the largest occupations within the production group, as were machinists (1,870), and inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers (1,450). Among the higher paying jobs were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, and petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers with mean hourly wages of $29.35 and $25.07, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.18) and meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers ($10.26). (Detailed occupational data for production 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 production group. For instance, petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers were employed at 11.3 times the national average in Lafayette, one of the higher location quotients among all metropolitan areas for this particular occupation. Additionally, welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers were employed at 4.9 times the national rate. On the other hand, laundry and dry-cleaning workers had a location quotient of 0.9 in Lafayette, indicating that this 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.


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. May 2014 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2014, November 2013, May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, and November 2011. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 74.3 percent based on establishments and 70.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57.1 percent of total national employment. (Response rates are slightly lower for these estimates due to the federal shutdown in October 2013.) The sample in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,986 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 2014 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: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation(1)EmploymentMean wages

Production occupations


First-line supervisors of production and operating workers


Structural metal fabricators and fitters


Team assemblers


Assemblers and fabricators, all other




Butchers and meat cutters


Meat, poultry, and fish cutters and trimmers


Food batchmakers


Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic


Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic


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


Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic


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


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


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




Tool and die makers


Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers


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


Printing press operators


Print binding and finishing workers


Laundry and dry-cleaning workers


Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials


Sewing machine operators


Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters


Stationary engineers and boiler operators


Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators


Petroleum pump system operators, refinery operators, and gaugers


Plant and system operators, all other


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


Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders


Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers


Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders


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


Painters, transportation equipment


Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic


Helpers-production workers


Production 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: Monday, July 27, 2015