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News Release Information

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Eau Claire — May 2022

Workers in the Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $25.74 in May 2022, 14 percent below the nationwide average of $29.76, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. Two groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Eau Claire area employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including production, healthcare practitioners and technical, and transportation and material moving. Thirteen groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management, business and financial operations, and computer and mathematical. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Eau Claire metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2022
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Eau Claire United States Eau Claire Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $29.76 $25.74* -14


6.7 3.9* 63.08 56.76* -10

Business and financial operations

6.5 5.3* 41.39 34.35* -17

Computer and mathematical

3.4 2.3* 51.99 38.38* -26

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.6* 45.52 35.73* -22

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 40.21 32.13* -20

Community and social service

1.6 1.8* 26.81 24.36* -9


0.8 0.4* 59.87 41.66* -30

Educational instruction and library

5.7 5.3* 30.41 25.86* -15

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.2* 36.78 24.07* -35

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.1 7.4* 46.52 53.18* 14

Healthcare support

4.6 5.3* 17.10 16.61* -3

Protective service

2.3 1.7* 25.97 23.78* -8

Food preparation and serving related

8.5 8.2* 15.45 13.88* -10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.9 17.26 16.05* -7

Personal care and service

1.9 1.7* 17.41 15.58* -11

Sales and related

8.9 9.9* 24.22 20.96* -13

Office and administrative support

12.6 13.5* 21.90 20.21* -8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.2* 18.21 19.26* 6

Construction and extraction

4.1 3.8* 28.08 27.52* -2

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.1* 26.77 25.98* -3


5.9 9.1* 21.81 21.06* -3

Transportation and material moving

9.2 10.2* 21.12 19.22* -9

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment 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. Eau Claire had 7,560 jobs in production, accounting for 9.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.9-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $21.06, significantly below the national wage of $21.81.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (940), packaging and filling machine operators and tenders (680), and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (620). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and computer numerically controlled tool programmers, with mean hourly wages of $30.74 and $30.03, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($14.86) and sewing machine operators ($15.69). (Detailed data for the production occupations 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 Eau Claire area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders were employed at 4.4 times the national rate in Eau Claire, and food batchmakers, at 3.9 times the U.S. average. Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators had a location quotient of 1.2 in Eau Claire, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Data

The May 2022 OEWS estimates use the model-based (MB3) estimation method implemented with the May 2021 estimates release. Additional updates were made to the MB3 wage processing methodology for May 2022. For more information, see the May 2022 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement.

The May 2022 estimates are the first OEWS estimates to be produced using the 2022 NAICS, which replaces the 2017 NAICS used for the May 2017-May 2021 estimates. See North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) at BLS for details.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OEWS data are available at

The OEWS survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2022 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2022, November 2021, May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, and November 2019. The unweighted sampled employment of 80 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 65.4 percent based on establishments and 62.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,191 establishments with a response rate of 72 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to

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.

Metropolitan 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 Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Chippewa County and Eau Claire County.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for production occupations, Eau Claire metropolitan area, May 2022
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

7,560 1.6 $21.06 $43,800

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

620 1.7 30.74 63,930

Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers

570 3.7 18.78 39,070

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

60 1.9 23.01 47,860

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

940 1.2 17.25 35,880


80 0.7 16.09 33,480

Butchers and meat cutters

90 1.3 17.72 36,860

Food batchmakers

360 3.9 21.35 44,410

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

100 2.9 19.74 41,060

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

200 2.0 18.91 39,330

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

90 2.2 20.96 43,590


140 0.8 22.22 46,230

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

250 2.7 19.58 40,720

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

130 1.7 (5) (5)

Tool and die makers

70 2.0 27.49 57,170

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

290 1.3 22.81 47,440

Printing press operators

110 1.4 20.42 42,460

Print binding and finishing workers

40 1.8 16.54 34,410

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

100 1.0 14.86 30,910

Sewing machine operators

60 0.9 15.69 32,640

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

50 1.0 21.08 43,840

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

40 1.5 18.52 38,510

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

100 2.7 19.34 40,230

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

70 1.1 26.44 55,000

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

40 0.6 22.61 47,030

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

50 1.8 21.82 45,380

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

490 1.5 20.32 42,270

Dental laboratory technicians

30 1.8 19.13 39,790

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

680 3.3 19.30 40,140

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

130 1.5 19.82 41,220

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

340 3.4 25.39 52,810

Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

40 2.6 30.03 62,460

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

70 3.4 18.83 39,160

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

230 4.4 24.64 51,260

Helpers--production workers

120 1.2 20.30 42,230

Production workers, all other

170 1.2 17.77 36,960

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Eau Claire, WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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: Thursday, August 24, 2023