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Tuesday, June 16, 2015


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Erie – May 2014

Workers in the Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $18.28 in May 2014, 20 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 17 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; legal; management; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0%   $22.71 $18.28 Yes -20


5.0 3.1 Yes 54.08 44.78 Yes -17

Business and financial operations

5.1 3.4 Yes 34.81 27.81 Yes -20

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.0 Yes 40.37 28.69 Yes -29

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.3 Yes 39.19 32.68 Yes -17

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.3 Yes 33.69 35.39 No 5

Community and social service

1.4 1.9 Yes 21.79 18.86 Yes -13


0.8 0.3 Yes 48.61 38.94 Yes -20

Education, training, and library

6.2 6.5 No 25.10 23.91 No -5

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.8 Yes 26.82 18.09 Yes -33

Healthcare practitioners and technical

5.8 6.7 Yes 36.54 31.80 Yes -13

Healthcare support

2.9 4.5 Yes 13.86 11.83 Yes -15

Protective service

2.4 2.3 No 21.14 21.00 No -1

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 10.0 Yes 10.57 9.46 Yes -11

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.4 No 12.68 10.66 Yes -16

Personal care and service

3.1 4.3 Yes 12.01 10.94 Yes -9

Sales and related

10.5 10.7 No 18.59 15.22 Yes -18

Office and administrative support

16.0 15.2 No 17.08 14.91 Yes -13

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.0 Yes 12.09 16.76 Yes 39

Construction and extraction

3.9 2.9 Yes 22.40 20.43 Yes -9

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.7 No 21.74 18.09 Yes -17


6.6 13.4 Yes 17.06 16.73 No -2

Transportation and material moving

6.8 4.5 Yes 16.57 14.95 Yes -10

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

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Erie employment shares were significantly higher in 6 of the 22 occupational groups including production and healthcare support. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation; these groups included transportation and material moving, management, and computer and mathematical.

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Erie had 16,780 jobs in production, accounting for 13.4 percent of local area employment, significantly above the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.73, which was comparable to the national average of $17.06.

With employment of 1,270, first-line supervisors of production and operating workers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by machinists (930). Among the higher-paying jobs were first line supervisors of production and operating workers ($25.25) and tool and die makers ($22.23). At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers and bakers, with mean hourly wages of $10.35 and $11.73, respectively. (Detailed occupational data for the business and financial operations 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 Erie area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in several of the occupations within the production group. For instance, metal and plastic molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders were employed at almost six times times the national rate. On the other hand, butchers and meat cutters had a location quotient of 1.1 in Erie, meaning 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 Erie 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 Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,652 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 Erie, Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Erie County in Pennsylvania.

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, Erie Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2014
Occupation (1) Employment (2) Mean wage
Level Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

16,780 2.0 $16.73 $34,800

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

1,270 2.3 25.25 52,520

Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers

520 2.7 12.50 26,010

Engine and other machine assemblers

30 0.9 16.45 34,210

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

70 1.0 17.49 36,370

Team assemblers

740 0.7 14.22 29,580

Assemblers and fabricators, all other

140 0.6 13.75 28,600


260 1.6 11.73 24,400

Butchers and meat cutters

140 1.1 16.20 33,690

Food batchmakers

220 1.9 14.34 29,830

Food cooking machine operators and tenders

(5) (5) 12.81 26,640

Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic

350 2.5 16.99 35,340

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic

70 3.1 18.33 38,120

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

180 2.6 13.87 28,840

Forging machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

90 4.6 23.04 47,920

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

40 1.4 15.04 31,280

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

810 4.6 13.58 28,240

Drilling and boring machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

70 4.0 17.62 36,650

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

210 3.2 14.39 29,920

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

180 4.4 17.33 36,040


930 2.5 19.86 41,300

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

50 2.5 17.22 35,810

Foundry mold and coremaking

(5) (5) 15.16 31,530

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

700 5.9 15.93 33,140

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

330 3.6 14.19 29,520

Tool and die makers

290 4.0 22.23 46,230

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

530 1.5 16.42 34,140

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 15.59 32,430

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

70 3.7 20.92 43,510

Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

150 4.6 17.74 36,900

Prepress technicians and workers

40 1.2 18.33 38,130

Printing press operators

(5) (5) 17.78 36,990

Print binding and finishing workers

(5) (5) 15.07 31,340

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

220 1.2 10.35 21,540

Sewing machine operators

40 0.3 11.24 23,370

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

(5) (5) 12.95 26,930

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

60 0.9 13.88 28,870

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

110 1.1 22.26 46,300

Chemical plant and system operators

70 2.0 23.88 49,670

Gas plant operators

(5) (5) 22.57 46,950

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

60 1.1 17.09 35,550

Separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders

40 1.0 17.18 35,740

Grinding and polishing workers, hard

40 1.6 12.30 25,590

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

180 1.6 16.59 34,510

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 12.91 26,850

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

820 1.8 16.61 34,550

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

260 0.7 14.48 30,120

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

230 2.8 14.91 31,010

Painters, transportation equipment

(5) (5) 26.42 54,950

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

50 3.1 14.34 29,830

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

50 1.6 13.49 28,050

Helpers--production workers

690 1.8 12.18 25,330

Production workers, all other

130 0.6 13.22 27,490

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Erie 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) Estimates not releases.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, June 16, 2015