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BLS - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

07/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/03/2019 10:08

Occupational Employment and Wages in Bellingham — May 2018

News Release Information

19-1182-SAN
Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Workers in the Bellingham Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.58 in May 2018, about 6 percent below the nationwide average of $24.98, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 11 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service; healthcare support; and construction and extraction. Eight 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 construction and extraction; production; and food preparation and serving related. Conversely, five groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including computer and mathematical; management; and personal care and service. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Bellingham United States Bellingham Percent difference

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.98 $23.58* -6

Management

5.3 4.1* 58.44 51.04* -13

Business and financial operations

5.3 4.9 36.98 32.82* -11

Computer and mathematical

3.0 1.5* 44.01 37.86* -14

Architecture and engineering

1.8 2.0 42.01 41.58 -1

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.7 36.62 30.81* -16

Community and social service

1.5 2.0* 23.69 23.08 -3

Legal

0.8 0.4* 52.25 34.86* -33

Education, training, and library

6.1 7.0 27.22 25.40* -7

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.2 28.74 21.75* -24

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 4.7 39.42 36.20 -8

Healthcare support

2.8 2.8 15.57 18.28* 17

Protective service

2.4 2.0* 23.36 31.31* 34

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 10.3* 12.30 14.15* 15

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 3.6* 14.43 15.18* 5

Personal care and service

3.8 3.1* 13.51 14.98* 11

Sales and related

10.0 10.5 20.09 19.03* -5

Office and administrative support

15.1 14.4 18.75 19.16* 2

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.5* 14.49 18.60* 28

Construction and extraction

4.1 6.1* 24.62 26.99* 10

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.8 23.54 24.56* 4

Production

6.3 7.9* 18.84 20.77* 10

Transportation and material moving

7.1 6.5 18.41 19.10* 4

One occupational group-personal care and service-was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Bellingham had 2,730 jobs in personal care and service, accounting for 3.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $14.98, significantly above the national wage of $13.51.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the personal care and service group included personal care aides (780), recreation workers (270), and childcare workers (230). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were fitness trainers and aerobics instructors and first-line supervisors of personal service workers, with mean hourly wages of $24.10 and $17.75, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers ($11.92) and amusement and recreation attendants ($12.51). (Detailed data for the personal care and service occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_13380.htm .)

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 Bellingham Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the personal care and service group. For instance, nonfarm animal caretakers were employed at 1.5 times the national rate in Bellingham. On the other hand, hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists had a location quotient of 1.0 in Bellingham, 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 Washington Employment Security Department.

Area Changes to the May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

OES continues to publish data for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas that cover the full geography of the United States. However, the level of detail available has decreased.

OES no longer publishes data for metropolitan divisions. Data for the 11 large metropolitan areas that contain divisions are now available at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or New England City and Town Area (NECTA) level only.

In addition, some smaller nonmetropolitan areas have been combined to form larger nonmetropolitan areas. The May 2018 OES estimates contain data for 134 nonmetropolitan areas, compared with 167 nonmetropolitan areas in the May 2017 estimates.

More information on these area changes is available at www.bls.gov/oes/areas_2018.htm.

Implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

The OES program plans to begin implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system with the May 2019 estimates, to be released by early April of 2020. Because each set of OES estimates is produced by combining three years of survey data, estimates for May 2019 and May 2020 will be based on a combination of survey data collected under the 2010 SOC and data collected under the 2018 SOC, and will use a hybrid of the two classification systems. The May 2021 OES estimates, to be released by early April of 2022, will be the first set of estimates based fully on the 2018 SOC. For more information, please see www.bls.gov/oes/soc_2018.htm.


Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES 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. OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.

The OES 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. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2018 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, and November 2015. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 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 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Bellingham Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,370 establishments with a response rate of 77 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.

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.

The May 2018 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2017 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.

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 Bellingham, Wash. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Whatcom County.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/regions/west. Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at www.bls.gov/oes/oes_ques.htm. Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/oes/current/methods_statement.pdf.

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.

Occupation Employment Mean wages
Level Location quotient Hourly Annual

Personal care and service occupations

2,730 0.8 $14.98 $31,150

First-line supervisors of personal service workers

100 0.7 17.75 36,930

Nonfarm animal caretakers

180 1.5 13.46 28,000

Ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers

50 0.6 11.92 24,800

Amusement and recreation attendants

130 0.7 12.51 26,020

Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists

220 1.0 14.94 31,070

Skincare specialists

60 2.0 17.52 36,450

Childcare workers

230 0.7 12.81 26,640

Personal care aides

780 0.6 13.40 27,880

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

180 0.9 24.10 50,120

Recreation workers

270 1.3 14.73 30,630

Residential advisors

50 0.7 16.79 34,920

Personal care and service workers, all other

140 3.8 14.26 29,660