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Friday, May 17, 2013


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich. Metropolitan Division – May 2012

Workers in the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn Metropolitan Division had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.50 in May 2012, about 7 percent above the nationwide average of $22.01, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 7 of the 22 major occupational groups, including construction and extraction; production; and installation, maintenance, and repair.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including architecture and engineering; production; and healthcare practitioners and technical. Conversely, 11 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support; construction and extraction; and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn Metropolitan Division, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Detroit United States Detroit Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $23.50* 7


4.9 5.0 52.20 52.74 1

Business and financial operations

4.9 5.4* 33.44 33.04 -1

Computer and mathematical

2.7 2.9 38.55 37.83 -2

Architecture and engineering

1.8 3.7* 37.98 38.68 2

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.5* 32.87 34.61 5

Community and social services

1.4 1.7* 21.27 21.24 0


0.8 0.6* 47.39 51.59 9

Education, training, and library

6.4 5.3* 24.62 25.67 4

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.1* 26.20 23.73* -9

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 7.1* 35.35 35.86 1

Healthcare support

3.0 3.6* 13.36 12.86* -4

Protective service

2.5 2.7* 20.70 21.30 3

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 8.8 10.28 10.10 -2

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 2.8* 12.34 13.27* 8

Personal care and service

2.9 2.4* 11.80 12.48* 6

Sales and related

10.6 9.4* 18.26 18.14 -1

Office and administrative support

16.4 14.8* 16.54 17.12* 4

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2)* 11.65 13.48* 16

Construction and extraction

3.8 2.5* 21.61 26.77* 24

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.6* 21.09 22.68* 8


6.6 8.1* 16.59 20.46* 23

Transportation and material moving

6.7 7.8* 16.15 19.44 20

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Detroit is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Indicates a value of less than 0.05 percent
* 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—architecture and engineering—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn had 25,790 jobs in architecture and engineering, accounting for 3.7 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 1.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $38.68, compared to the national wage of $37.98.

With employment of 5,410, industrial engineers was the largest occupation within the architecture and engineering group, followed by electrical engineers (1,470) and mechanical engineering technicians (1,400). Among the higher paying jobs were aerospace engineers and computer hardware engineers, with mean hourly wages of $51.98 and $48.55, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were surveying and mapping technicians ($20.07) and environmental engineering technicians ($20.63). (Detailed occupational data for architecture and engineering are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow for the exploration of an area’s occupational make-up 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 Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn Metropolitan Division, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the architecture and engineering group. For instance, mechanical engineering technicians were employed at 5.6 times the national rate in Detroit, and industrial engineers, at 4.6 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, electrical and electronics engineering technicians had a location quotient of 1.2 in Detroit, 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 Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Detroit Metropolitan Division 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. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn Metropolitan Division included 4,070 establishments with a response rate of 70 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

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 Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Mich. Metropolitan Division  includes Wayne 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: 1-800-877-8339.

OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn Metropolitan Division, May 2012
Occupation (1)Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual(4)

Architecture and Engineering Occupations


Architects, Except Landscape and Naval


Landscape Architects




Aerospace Engineers


Biomedical Engineers


Chemical Engineers


Civil Engineers


Computer Hardware Engineers


Electrical Engineers


Electronics Engineers, Except Computer


Industrial Engineers


Materials Engineers


Engineers, All Other


Architectural and Civil Drafters


Electrical and Electronics Drafters


Mechanical Drafters


Drafters, All Other


Civil Engineering Technicians


Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians


Environmental Engineering Technicians


Industrial Engineering Technicians


Mechanical Engineering Technicians


Engineering Technicians, Except Drafters, All Other


Surveying and Mapping Technicians


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI 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.
(5) Estimate not released.


Last Modified Date: May 17, 2013