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News Release Information

Thursday, April 30, 2015

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  • (415) 625-2270

Occupational Employment and Wages in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, May 2014

Workers in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $28.43 in May 2014, about 25 percent above the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; management; and construction and extraction. No other group had an hourly wage significantly lower than its respective national average.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; business and financial operations; and architecture and engineering. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support; healthcare practitioners and technical; 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 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Seattle United States Seattle Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.71 $28.43* 25


5.0 5.3* 54.08 60.41* 12

Business and financial operations

5.1 7.5* 34.81 38.40* 10

Computer and mathematical

2.8 7.5* 40.37 50.63* 25

Architecture and engineering

1.8 3.4* 39.19 44.14* 13

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 1.2* 33.69 35.49 5

Community and social services

1.4 1.3* 21.79 22.09 1


0.8 0.8* 48.61 49.97 3

Education, training, and library

6.2 5.1* 25.10 26.82 7

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.8* 26.82 27.92* 4

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 4.6* 36.54 41.42* 13

Healthcare support

2.9 2.2* 13.86 17.19* 24

Protective service

2.4 1.7* 21.14 25.71* 22

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 8.0* 10.57 12.97* 23

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 2.4* 12.68 14.91* 18

Personal care and service

3.1 3.0 12.01 14.23* 18

Sales and related

10.5 10.3 18.59 21.81* 17

Office and administrative support

16.0 13.8* 17.08 19.51* 14

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 12.09 17.03* 41

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.9 22.40 27.90* 25

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.2* 21.74 25.95* 19


6.6 6.2* 17.06 21.22* 24

Transportation and material moving

6.8 6.4 16.57 19.55* 18

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Seattle 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—computer and mathematical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett had 112,180 jobs in computer and mathematical, accounting for 7.5 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 2.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $50.63, significantly above the national wage of $40.37.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the computer and mathematical group included applications software developers (45,310), computer programmers (12,280), and computer systems analysts (11,710). Among the higher paying jobs were computer programmers and applications software developers, with mean hourly wages of $57.58 and $56.47, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were computer user support specialists ($28.74) and computer network support specialists ($36.92). (Detailed occupational data for computer and mathematical 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 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the computer and mathematical group. For instance, applications software developers were employed at 6.0 times the national rate in Seattle, and computer programmers, at 3.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, network and computer systems administrators had a location quotient of 1.3 in Seattle, 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 Washington Employment Security Department.


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 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division included 6,811 establishments with a response rate of 75 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 Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Wash. Metropolitan Division  includes King and Snohomish Counties.

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, Seattle-Bellevue-Everett Metropolitan Division, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Computer and Mathematical Occupations

112,180 2.7 $50.63 $105,300

Computer Systems Analysts

11,710 2.0 49.01 101,940

Information Security Analysts

1,450 1.6 46.90 97,550

Computer Programmers

12,280 3.7 57.58 119,760

Software Developers, Applications

45,310 6.0 56.47 117,460

Software Developers, Systems Software

8,730 2.1 55.67 115,800

Web Developers

3,850 2.9 42.08 87,520

Database Administrators

1,790 1.4 45.93 95,530

Network and Computer Systems Administrators

5,200 1.3 42.23 87,840

Computer Network Architects

2,930 1.9 55.37 115,160

Computer User Support Specialists

9,610 1.5 28.74 59,770

Computer Network Support Specialists

2,420 1.3 36.92 76,790

Computer Occupations, All Other

3,050 1.3 34.14 71,020


450 1.9 48.00 99,850

Operations Research Analysts

1,900 2.0 43.28 90,010


700 2.3 41.44 86,200

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division, 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.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015