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Wednesday, June 24, 2015


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Modesto, May 2014

Workers in the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.71 in May 2014, about 9 percent below 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 4 of the 22 major occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical; and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Nine groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; management; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production; transportation and material moving; and sales and related. Conversely, eight 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 note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2014
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Modesto United States Modesto Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.71 $20.71* -9


5.0 (2) 54.08 47.72* -12

Business and financial operations

5.1 3.0* 34.81 31.10* -11

Computer and mathematical

2.8 1.2* 40.37 39.35 -3

Architecture and engineering

1.8 0.6* 39.19 37.07 -5

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.6* 33.69 29.32* -13

Community and social services

1.4 1.9* 21.79 23.50* 8


0.8 1.0 48.61 34.07* -30

Education, training, and library

6.2 7.5* 25.10 25.56 2

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.7* 26.82 22.17* -17

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.8 5.4 36.54 43.74* 20

Healthcare support

2.9 3.2 13.86 15.30* 10

Protective service

2.4 1.3* 21.14 21.97 4

Food preparation and serving related

9.1 9.3 10.57 10.63 1

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.2 3.1 12.68 14.43* 14

Personal care and service

3.1 2.7 12.01 11.34* -6

Sales and related

10.5 11.9* 18.59 15.41* -17

Office and administrative support

16.0 14.4* 17.08 16.87 -1

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 3.9* 12.09 10.17* -16

Construction and extraction

3.9 3.5* 22.40 22.50 0

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.6 21.74 21.21 -2


6.6 8.1* 17.06 16.10* -6

Transportation and material moving

6.8 8.2* 16.57 16.48 -1

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Modesto is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released
* 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Modesto had 13,060 jobs in production, accounting for 8.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $16.10, significantly below the national wage of $17.06.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the production group included packaging and filling machine operators and tenders (2,490), first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (940), and helpers of production workers (890). Among the higher paying jobs were stationary engineers and boiler operators, and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, with mean hourly wages of $35.59 and $26.72, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were pressers of textile, garment, and related materials ($9.51) and paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders ($10.58). (Detailed occupational data for production 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 Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the production group. For instance, separating, filtering, clarifying, precipitating, and still machine setters, operators, and tenders were employed at 8.4 times the national rate in Modesto, and food cooking machine operators and tenders, at 6.8 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders of metal and plastic had a location quotient of 1.1 in Modesto, 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 California Employment Development 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 Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,789 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 Modesto, Calif. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Stanislaus County.

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

Production Occupations

13,060 1.2 $16.10 $33,490

First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers

940 1.3 26.72 55,570

Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers

(5) (5) 13.15 27,360

Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers

(5) (5) 10.97 22,830

Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters

130 1.4 18.51 38,510

Team Assemblers

590 0.4 14.82 30,820

Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other

(5) (5) 13.32 27,710


100 0.5 13.23 27,520

Butchers and Meat Cutters

310 1.9 13.64 28,380

Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers

(5) (5) 11.24 23,380

Slaughterers and Meat Packers

(5) (5) 10.81 22,480

Food and Tobacco Roasting, Baking, and Drying Machine Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 11.46 23,830

Food Batchmakers

550 3.8 16.95 35,260

Food Cooking Machine Operators and Tenders

300 6.8 (5) (5)

Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic

150 0.9 15.25 31,720

Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

250 1.1 22.05 45,860

Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 14.35 29,850

Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 18.72 38,940


290 0.6 18.13 37,720

Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic

90 0.6 14.93 31,050

Tool and Die Makers

70 0.8 21.62 44,970

Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers

300 0.7 20.61 42,870

Prepress Technicians and Workers

50 1.3 18.18 37,810

Printing Press Operators

140 0.7 19.62 40,820

Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

170 0.7 10.82 22,500

Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials

50 0.9 9.51 19,780

Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters

140 1.4 11.89 24,740

Sawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Wood

50 0.9 12.44 25,870

Woodworking Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Except Sawing

40 0.4 14.79 30,760

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

40 0.9 35.59 74,020

Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators

160 1.2 25.02 52,040

Separating, Filtering, Clarifying, Precipitating, and Still Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

430 8.4 14.52 30,200

Crushing, Grinding, and Polishing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

(5) (5) 11.98 24,920

Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

(5) (5) 17.22 35,820

Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

60 0.7 19.17 39,870

Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

120 1.4 14.78 30,740

Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers

750 1.3 16.16 33,620

Dental Laboratory Technicians

(5) (5) 21.95 45,650

Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders

2,490 5.5 14.81 30,790

Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

90 0.8 14.09 29,310

Painters, Transportation Equipment

80 1.4 21.92 45,580

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

(5) (5) 15.29 31,810

Cleaning, Washing, and Metal Pickling Equipment Operators and Tenders

(5) (5) 14.46 30,080

Molders, Shapers, and Casters, Except Metal and Plastic

(5) (5) 14.02 29,170

Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders

440 4.0 10.58 22,010

Helpers--Production Workers

890 1.8 13.46 28,000

Production Workers, All Other

490 1.9 11.06 23,010

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Modesto, CA, 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) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2015