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Friday, July 19, 2019


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Lafayette – May 2018

Workers in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.49 in May 2018, about 22 percent below the nationwide average of $24.98, 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 19 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; legal; and protective service. One group had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages: production.

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 construction and extraction. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations; computer and mathematical; and office and administrative support. (See table A and box notes 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 2018
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 $24.98 $19.49* -22


5.3 4.2* 58.44 46.40* -21

Business and financial operations

5.3 3.2* 36.98 29.00* -22

Computer and mathematical

3.0 0.9* 44.01 29.11* -34

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6 42.01 36.62* -13

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.7 36.62 35.13 -4

Community and social service

1.5 1.3* 23.69 19.61* -17


0.8 0.7 52.25 35.64* -32

Education, training, and library

6.1 5.3* 27.22 20.59* -24

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.7* 28.74 17.44* -39

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 6.6* 39.42 29.33* -26

Healthcare support

2.8 3.0 15.57 12.03* -23

Protective service

2.4 1.9* 23.36 17.24* -26

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.5 12.30 9.90* -20

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 2.5* 14.43 11.13* -23

Personal care and service

3.8 4.0 13.51 10.46* -23

Sales and related

10.0 12.2* 20.09 15.78* -21

Office and administrative support

15.1 13.9* 18.75 15.77* -16

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 14.49 15.10 4

Construction and extraction

4.1 5.7* 24.62 21.16* -14

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 5.8* 23.54 20.90* -11


6.3 7.5* 18.84 19.61* 4

Transportation and material moving

7.1 8.5* 18.41 17.45* -5

(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 mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—installation, maintenance, and repair—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Lafayette had 11,340 jobs in installation, maintenance, and repair, accounting for 5.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $20.90, significantly below the national wage of $23.54.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the installation, maintenance, and repair group included general maintenance and repair workers (2,260), industrial machinery mechanics (1,160), and first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers (1,060). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were aircraft mechanics and service technicians, as well as first-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers, with mean hourly wages of $31.50 and $30.02, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were tire repairers and changers ($11.75) and helpers-installation, maintenance, and repair workers ($12.61). (Detailed data for the installation, maintenance, and repair occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29180.htm.)

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 installation, maintenance, and repair group. For instance, riggers were employed at 25.5 times the national rate in Lafayette, and mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines, at 2.7 times the U.S. average. Lafayette's location quotient for riggers was among the highest in all the published metropolitan areas nationwide for this occupation. On the other hand, heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers 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.

Area Changes to the May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

OES continues to publish data for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas that cover the full geography of the United States. However, the level of detail available has decreased.

OES no longer publishes data for metropolitan divisions. Data for the 11 large metropolitan areas that contain divisions are now available at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or New England City and Town Area (NECTA) level only.

In addition, some smaller nonmetropolitan areas have been combined to form larger nonmetropolitan areas. The May 2018 OES estimates contain data for 134 nonmetropolitan areas, compared with 167 nonmetropolitan areas in the May 2017 estimates.

More information on these area changes is available at www.bls.gov/oes/areas_2018.htm.

Implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

The OES program plans to begin implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system with the May 2019 estimates, to be released by early April of 2020. Because each set of OES estimates is produced by combining three years of survey data, estimates for May 2019 and May 2020 will be based on a combination of survey data collected under the 2010 SOC and data collected under the 2018 SOC, and will use a hybrid of the two classification systems. The May 2021 OES estimates, to be released by early April of 2022, will be the first set of estimates based fully on the 2018 SOC. For more information, please see www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm.

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 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. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 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 2018 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, and November 2015. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,324 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

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.

The May 2018 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2017 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

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 www.bls.gov/regions/southwest. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf.

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 2018
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

11,340 1.5 $20.90 $43,460

First-line supervisors of mechanics, installers, and repairers

1,060 1.7 30.02 62,440

Computer, automated teller, and office machine repairers

90 0.6 22.68 47,170

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers, except line installers

510 1.6 23.43 48,740

Avionics technicians

50 1.8 33.72 70,130

Electrical and electronics repairers, commercial and industrial equipment

60 0.7 24.23 50,390

Security and fire alarm systems installers

90 0.9 21.42 44,540

Aircraft mechanics and service technicians

270 1.5 31.50 65,510

Automotive body and related repairers

380 2.0 19.35 40,260

Automotive service technicians and mechanics

990 1.1 18.27 38,000

Bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists

240 0.7 23.59 49,060

Farm equipment mechanics and service technicians

80 1.7 19.88 41,340

Mobile heavy equipment mechanics, except engines

510 2.7 20.47 42,580

Outdoor power equipment and other small engine mechanics

50 1.3 17.32 36,020

Tire repairers and changers

240 1.6 11.75 24,450

Control and valve installers and repairers, except mechanical door

150 2.1 22.52 46,850

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers

440 1.0 19.89 41,360

Home appliance repairers

(5) (5) 19.90 41,390

Industrial machinery mechanics

1,160 2.4 22.31 46,400

Maintenance workers, machinery

240 2.2 21.52 44,770


(5) (5) 27.21 56,590

Electrical power-line installers and repairers

(5) (5) 31.74 66,010

Telecommunications line installers and repairers

90 0.6 20.09 41,790

Maintenance and repair workers, general

2,260 1.2 17.22 35,810

Coin, vending, and amusement machine servicers and repairers

(5) (5) 11.00 22,880

Locksmiths and safe repairers

(5) (5) 22.22 46,220


730 25.5 22.20 46,180

Helpers – installation, maintenance, and repair workers

340 2.4 12.61 26,230

Installation, maintenance, and repair workers, all other

630 2.9 18.56 38,610

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Lafayette, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_29180.htm.
(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) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Friday, July 19, 2019