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News Release Information

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

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  • (972) 850-4800

Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette – May 2017

Workers in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.20 in May 2017, about 21 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Stanley W. Suchman noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 17 of the 22 major occupational groups, including business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; and education, training, and library. Local wage levels were similar to the national averages in four groups, but only one local occupational group, production, had wages that were significantly higher than the national average.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including sales and related; installation, maintenance, and repair; and transportation and material moving. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial; computer and mathematical; and education, training, and library. (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 2017
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Lafayette United States Lafayette Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.34 $19.20* -21


5.1 4.2* 57.65 46.08* -20

Business and financial operations

5.2 2.9* 36.70 29.69* -19

Computer and mathematical

3.0 0.8* 43.18 28.22* -35

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.7 41.44 38.33 -8

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6* 35.76 36.14 1

Community and social service

1.5 1.3* 23.10 19.34* -16


0.8 0.7 51.62 32.41* -37

Education, training, and library

6.1 4.8* 26.67 21.59* -19

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.8* 28.34 18.75* -34

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 6.5* 38.83 27.92* -28

Healthcare support

2.9 2.8 15.05 11.68* -22

Protective service

2.4 1.9* 22.69 16.77* -26

Food preparation and serving related

9.3 9.5 11.88 9.61* -19

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 2.6* 13.91 10.80* -22

Personal care and service

3.6 4.0 13.11 10.27* -22

Sales and related

10.2 12.4* 19.56 15.61* -20

Office and administrative support

15.4 14.5* 18.24 15.54* -15

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 13.87 14.85 7

Construction and extraction

4.0 5.5* 24.01 20.86* -13

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 6.0* 23.02 20.87* -9


6.3 7.6* 18.30 19.43* 6

Transportation and material moving

7.0 8.8* 17.82 17.19 -4

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area 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.

One occupational group—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 17,180 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 7.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.19, compared to the national wage of $17.82.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the transportation and material moving group included hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers (4,770), heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers (2,220), and light truck or delivery services drivers (1,960). Among the higher-paying jobs were captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels, as well as sailors and marine oilers, with mean hourly wages of $35.74 and $26.13, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($10.13) and bus drivers, school or special client ($10.37). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving 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 Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, pump operators, except wellhead pumpers, were employed at 101.4 times the national rate in Lafayette, and sailors and marine oilers, at 11.8 times the U.S. average. Both Lafayette location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers 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.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at

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 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 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, 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

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 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 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,437 establishments with a response rate of 76 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2017 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

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 Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area 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 2017
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Transportation and material moving occupations

17,180 1.3 $17.19 $35,760

First-line supervisors of transportation and material moving workers, except aircraft cargo handling supervisors

960 1.8 24.86 51,700

Commercial pilots

130 2.5 (6) 86,890

Bus drivers, school or special client

750 1.1 10.37 21,570

Driver/sales workers

500 0.9 11.14 23,160

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

2,220 0.9 18.46 38,400

Light truck or delivery services drivers

1,960 1.6 15.61 32,470

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

290 1.1 13.06 27,160

Sailors and marine oilers

500 11.8 26.13 54,360

Captains, mates, and pilots of water vessels

460 9.4 35.74 74,330

Parking lot attendants

60 0.3 9.57 19,910

Automotive and watercraft service attendants

240 1.5 10.75 22,370

Transportation workers, all other

130 2.4 9.07 18,860

Conveyor operators and tenders

60 1.5 15.51 32,270

Crane and tower operators

250 4.2 24.65 51,270

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

80 1.3 17.15 35,680

Industrial truck and tractor operators

600 0.8 16.15 33,580

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

560 1.1 10.13 21,060

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

4,770 1.3 13.14 27,330

Packers and packagers, hand

260 0.3 10.89 22,650

Pump operators, except wellhead pumpers

1,610 101.4 23.41 48,690

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

140 0.9 14.99 31,170

Material moving workers, all other

70 2.0 17.16 35,690

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area 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.
(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: Wednesday, June 27, 2018