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Wednesday, July 26, 2017


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette, May 2016

Workers in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.92 in May 2016, about 21 percent below the nationwide average of $23.86, 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 legal; computer and mathematical; and healthcare practitioners and technical. Only one local group, production, had wages that were measurably 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 installation, maintenance, and repair; construction and extraction; and sales and related. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; 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, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2016
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0   $23.86 $18.92 * -21


5.1 4.1 * 56.74 44.57 * -21

Business and financial operations

5.2 2.8 * 36.09 28.74 * -20

Computer and mathematical

3.0 0.8 * 42.25 27.71 * -34

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.7   40.53 37.96   -6

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6 * 35.06 36.02   3

Community and social service

1.4 1.1 * 22.69 18.54 * -18


0.8 0.7   50.95 30.67 * -40

Education, training, and library

6.2 4.4 * 26.21 21.41 * -18

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.8 * 28.07 22.54 * -20

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.9 6.2   38.06 28.42 * -25

Healthcare support

2.9 2.7   14.65 11.21 * -23

Protective service

2.4 1.8 * 22.03 16.91 * -23

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.5   11.47 9.49 * -17

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.7 * 13.47 10.77 * -20

Personal care and service

3.2 4.0 * 12.74 10.19 * -20

Sales and related

10.4 12.4 * 19.50 15.47 * -21

Office and administrative support

15.7 14.6 * 17.91 15.26 * -15

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 * 13.37 15.58   17

Construction and extraction

4.0 6.3 * 23.51 20.42 * -13

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 6.3 * 22.45 20.18 * -10


6.5 7.8 * 17.88 19.68 * 10

Transportation and material moving

6.9 8.5 * 17.34 16.88   -3

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Lafayette, LA 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–construction and extraction–was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 12,910 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 6.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 4.0-percent national share. However, at $20.42 an hour, the mean wage for Lafayette construction and extraction workers was significantly lower than the national average of $23.51.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the construction and extraction group included construction laborers (1,440), electricians (1,330), and oil and gas roustabouts (1,230). Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, as well as oil and gas rotary drill operators, with mean hourly wages of $29.78 and $27.89, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were electrician’s helpers ($12.68) and carpenter’s helpers($12.76). (Detailed occupational data for the construction and extraction group are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations 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 area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, oil and gas rotary drill operators were employed at 21.8 times the national rate in Lafayette, and oil and gas roustabouts, at 16.5 times the U.S. average. Both location quotients were among the highest in all metropolitan areas for these particular occupations. On the other hand, construction laborers had a location quotient of 1.1 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. 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 2016 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, November 2014, May 2014, and November 2013. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 73 percent based on establishments and 69 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted employment of sampled establishments across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,619 establishments with a response rate of 76 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2016 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 Acadia, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, and Vermilion 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 the 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, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2016
Occupation(1) Employment Mean wages
Level(2) Location
Hourly Annual(4)

Construction and extraction occupations

12,910 1.6 $20.42 $42,480

First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

980 1.3 29.78 61,950


1,180 1.2 17.77 36,960

Cement masons and concrete finishers

70 0.3 15.34 31,920

Construction laborers

1,440 1.1 15.22 31,650

Paving, surfacing, and tamping equipment operators

40 0.6 14.29 29,720

Operating engineers and other construction equipment operators

870 1.7 19.11 39,740

Drywall and ceiling tile installers

(5) (5) 15.69 32,640


1,330 1.5 22.30 46,380

Insulation workers, floor, ceiling, and wall

90 2.0 15.72 32,700

Insulation workers, mechanical

70 1.7 14.67 30,520

Painters, construction and maintenance

490 1.6 18.29 38,030

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

950 1.6 21.55 44,820


50 0.3 15.88 33,020

Sheet metal workers

110 0.6 14.92 31,030

Structural iron and steel workers

270 2.6 22.25 46,270


160 3.1 12.76 26,550


380 3.7 12.68 26,370

Helpers-painters, paperhangers, plasterers, and stucco masons

50 3.1 14.43 30,010

Helpers-pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters

150 1.9 12.88 26,780

Helpers, construction trades, all other

60 1.9 13.37 27,810

Highway maintenance workers

50 0.2 14.07 29,260

Construction and related workers, all other

(5) (5) 22.81 47,450

Derrick operators, oil and gas

180 10.9 24.03 49,980

Rotary drill operators, oil and gas

550 21.8 27.89 58,020

Service unit operators, oil, gas, and mining

920 14.8 26.26 54,620

Roustabouts, oil and gas

1,230 16.5 18.81 39,120

Helpers-extraction workers

260 10.3 16.76 34,850

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Lafayette, LA 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.
(5) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 26, 2017