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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton – May 2014

Workers in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $21.38 in May 2014, six percent below the nationwide average of $22.71, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sheila Watkins, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly lower than their respective national averages in 9 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and computer and mathematical. Four other groups had hourly wages that were measurably higher than their respective national averages; included in this grouping were education, training, and library occupations and production occupations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Employment share (percent of total) Average (mean) hourly wage
United States Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Significant difference (1) United States Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Significant difference (1) Percent difference (2)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0%   $22.71 $21.38 Yes -6


5.0 3.8 Yes 54.08 53.39 No -1

Business and financial operations

5.1 3.6 Yes 34.81 31.80 Yes -9

Computer and mathematical

2.8 2.0 Yes 40.37 36.64 Yes -9

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.5 Yes 39.19 36.32 Yes -7

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6 Yes 33.69 31.20 Yes -7

Community and social service

1.4 1.8 Yes 21.79 21.32 No -2


0.8 0.4 Yes 48.61 43.64 Yes -10

Education, training, and library

6.2 6.9 No 25.10 26.48 Yes 5

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8 Yes 26.82 23.06 Yes -14

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.8 7.1 Yes 36.54 36.55 No 0

Healthcare support

2.9 4.2 Yes 13.86 13.68 No -1

Protective service

2.4 1.8 Yes 21.14 19.46 No -8

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 8.8 No 10.57 10.74 No 2

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.2 No 12.68 13.52 Yes 7

Personal care and service

3.1 3.4 No 12.01 11.60 Yes -3

Sales and related

10.5 9.9 Yes 18.59 17.68 Yes -5

Office and administrative support

16.0 16.8 Yes 17.08 16.43 Yes -4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1 Yes 12.09 14.26 Yes 18

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.3 Yes 22.40 22.59 No 1

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.0 No 21.74 21.83 No 0


6.6 7.6 Yes 17.06 17.63 Yes 3

Transportation and material moving

6.8 8.5 Yes 16.57 16.57 No 0

(1) Statistical significance testing at the 90-percent confidence level.
(2) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Allentown is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Allentown employment shares were significantly higher in 6 of the 22 occupational groups including transportation and material moving, healthcare practitioners and technical, and healthcare support. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included business and financial operations, management, and computer and mathematical.

One occupational group—transportation and material moving—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Allentown had 29,000 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.5 percent of local area employment, significantly larger than the 6.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.57, the same as the national wage.

With employment of 8,450, hand laborers and freight, stock, and material movers was the largest occupation within the transportation and material moving group, followed by heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers with 5,350 jobs. Among the higher-paying jobs were first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators and first-line supervisors of hand helpers, laborers, and material movers, with mean hourly wages of $28.73 and $25.13, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were automotive and watercraft service attendants ($9.10) and cleaners of vehicles and equipment ($10.47). (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 as it does nationally. In the Allentown area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, conveyor operators and tenders were employed at nearly three times the national rate in Allentown, and industrial truck and tractor operators at almost two-and-a-half times the U.S. average. On the other hand, taxi drivers and chauffeurs had a location quotient of 1.0 in Allentown, 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 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.


OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: 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. Each year, forms are mailed to two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments, one panel in May and the other in November. 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 employment. The sample in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,669 establishments with a response rate of 77 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 Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pa.-N.J. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Carbon, Lehigh and Northampton Counties in Pennsylvania and Warren County in New Jersey.

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: 1-800-877-8339.


Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment (2) Mean wage
Level Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Transportation and material moving occupations

29,000 1.2 $16.57 $34,460

First-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers, hand

560 1.3 25.13 52,280

First-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators

510 1.0 28.73 59,750

Commercial pilots

80 0.8 (5) 82,390

Airfield Operations Specialists

40 2.1 (6) (6)

Ambulance drivers and attendants, except emergency medical technicians

70 1.4 14.16 29,450

Bus drivers, transit and intercity

390 1.0 16.63 34,590

Bus drivers, school or special client

1,440 1.1 14.35 29,850

Driver/sales workers

1,380 1.3 11.26 23,410

Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

5,350 1.3 21.33 44,370

Light truck or delivery services drivers

2,220 1.1 16.95 35,260

Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

460 1.0 13.64 28,360

Parking lot attendants

330 1.0 10.52 21,890

Automotive and watercraft service attendants

410 1.6 9.10 18,940

Conveyor operators and tenders

280 2.9 16.92 35,200

Crane and tower operators

30 0.3 23.14 48,130

Excavating and loading machine and dragline operators

40 0.3 19.56 40,690

Industrial truck and tractor operators

3,100 2.4 16.94 35,230

Cleaners of vehicles and equipment

630 0.8 10.47 21,770

Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

8,450 1.4 14.50 30,150

Machine feeders and offbearers

210 0.8 15.41 32,060

Packers and packagers, hand

2,720 1.6 15.06 31,330

Refuse and recyclable material collectors

170 0.6 16.42 34,160

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton 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) 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.
(6) Estimates not released.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015