2001 Wyoming Wage Survey

Section I: Introduction

Research & Planning (R&P), a section of the Department of Employment, in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has conducted an annual Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wage Survey for six years (1996-2001). The OES program produces occupational employment and wage estimates that have many uses. For example, wage information helps employers determine if they are offering competitive wages. Employment and training organizations (such as community colleges), vocational counselors, and individuals use wage data to assist students in making career decisions.

The OES Wage Survey is conducted by mail. Data obtained are used to estimate occupational employment and wage rates for Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered wage and salary jobs in non-farm establishments. In 2001, Wyoming sampled 1,689 economic units. An economic unit is generally a single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. A response rate of 85 percent of sampled units and 79 percent of sampled employment was achieved. Thank you to all the employers who participated in our survey over the last six years.

Wages for the OES Wage Survey include base pay rates, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazard pay, incentive pay, commissions, piece rates and production bonuses, length-of-service allowances, on-call pay, and portal-to-portal pay. Items excluded from the survey are back pay, jury-duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, vacation pay, Christmas bonuses, holiday or weekend pay, attendance bonuses, meal and lodging allowances, merchandise discounts, non-production bonuses, profit-sharing distributions, relocation allowances, stock bonuses, tool allowances, tuition reimbursements, and uniform allowances. Data from tips were not collected prior to 1999. Tip data are incorporated into the hourly estimates. The OES Wage Survey does not include benefit data.

The hourly wage estimates in this publication are calculated using a year-round, full-time figure of 2,080 hours per year (52 weeks times 40 hours). Occupations that typically have a work year of less than 2,080 hours (such as musical and entertainment occupations, flight attendants, pilots, and teachers) are reported only as an annual wage. These occupations are marked with an asterisk (*) beside the occupational title. In some cases, occupations have too few employees to report without violating rules of confidentiality. These cases are marked as ND for Not Disclosable.

Section II: Analysis

Wage information found in this publication may be used in conjunction with related information from "Employee Benefits in Wyoming: 2000" to get a picture of total compensation. Benefit information is not available by occupation but is compiled by major industry, firm size, and regions in Wyoming. Also, the employer sample used in the OES Wage Survey is intended to represent jobs worked (employment) for each geographic area as well as statewide, even though the sample is obtained from a database containing only State UI covered jobs. Employment (jobs worked) and payroll information from this source included in the annual publication, "2000 Annual Covered Employment and Wages."  Referring to the Table below, the total employment for all industries increased by 3.0 percent from fourth quarter 2000 to fourth quarter 2001. One explanation for the 9.8 percent increase in the construction employment is the increase of 200 construction managers over the last year. Also, from the Table readers can compare the total employment to the rounded total in Table 1.

Wyoming Statewide Unemployment Insurance (UI) Covered Employment


Average Monthly Employment


Fourth Quarter







Total All Industries *






Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, & Hunting

























Wholesale Trade





Retail Trade





Transportation & Warehousing










Finance & Insurance





Real Estate & Rental & Leasing





Professional & Technical Services





Management of Companies & Enterprises





Administrative & Waste Services





Educational Services





Health Care & Social Assistance





Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation





Accommodation & Food Services





Other Services, Except Public Administration





Public Administration















* by North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).
Source:  Wyoming Unemployment Insurance Covered Employment and Wages (ES-202) program.

OES wage data should not be confused with a new but separate effort, the Wyoming Construction Prevailing Wage (W.S. 27-4-401), which intends to supplement the OES Wage Survey by collecting wage data for construction trades (excluding heavy construction) at a more detailed occupational level. Additionally, some companies or communities are interested in obtaining staffing patterns for their industries to assist with occupational planning and economic and workforce development. They can find information about staffing patterns at our website.

Every state conducts an identical OES wage survey using standard techniques. This facilitates comparison of data among states, as well as comparisons with national figures. National and state wage estimates are located on the BLS website. Each state's labor market information agency may also conduct and publish supplementary wage or benefit surveys, occupational licensing information, statewide and localized employment information, and staffing pattern data, which can be found on their respective websites. Research & Planning's website provides links to most of these sites on our Other Resources page.

Section III: Method of Collection

In 1999, the OES Wage Survey began using the Office of Management and Budget's occupational classification system--the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The SOC classification system allows government statistical agencies and others to produce data using a common classification system. Prior to the SOC system, Federal agencies collecting occupational data used a variety of systems that were not necessarily compatible with one another.

In the SOC system, all workers are classified in one of over 820 occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, occupations are combined to form 23 major, 96 minor, and 449 broad groups of occupations requiring similar job duties, skills, education, or experience. 

Classification Principles of the SOC Coding System

In order to ensure that all users of occupational data classify workers in the same way, the following classification principles should be followed:

1.  The classification covers all occupations in which work is performed for pay or profit, including work performed in family-operated enterprises by family members who are not directly compensated. It excludes occupations unique to volunteers. Each occupation is assigned to only one occupational category at the lowest level of the classification.

2.  Occupations are classified based on work performed and on required skills, education, training, and credentials.

3.  Supervisors of professional and technical workers usually have a background similar to those of the workers they supervise, and therefore are classified with the workers they supervise. Likewise, team leaders, lead workers, and supervisors of production, sales, and service workers who spend at least twenty percent of their time performing work similar to the workers they supervise are classified with the workers they supervise.

4.  First-line managers and supervisors of production, service, and sales workers who spend more than eighty percent of their time performing supervisory activities are classified separately in the appropriate supervisor category because their work activities are distinct from those of the workers they supervise. First-line managers are generally found in smaller establishments where they perform both supervisory and management functions, such as accounting, marketing, and personnel work.

5.  Apprentices and trainees are classified with the occupations for which they are being trained, while helpers and aides are classified separately.

6.  If an occupation is not included as a distinct detailed occupation in the structure, it is classified in the appropriate residual occupation. Residual occupations contain all occupations within a major, minor, or broad group that are not classified separately.

7.  When workers can be classified in more than one occupation, they should be classified in the occupation that requires the higher skill level. When there is no perceptible difference in skill level, the worker should be classified in the occupation that describes their primary activity.

8.  Data collection and reporting agencies should classify workers at the most detailed level possible. Different agencies may use different levels of aggregation, depending on their ability to collect data and on the requirements of users.

Section IV: Geographic Coverage of Estimates

The data for Wyoming are collected for four regions and the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA's), Casper and Cheyenne, shown in the map below. An MSA is a county or group of adjoining counties that contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 inhabitants or more. The sample is stratified for each of these geographic areas. The estimates are prepared using samples specifically drawn for these geographic areas. Sample stratification provides greater assurance that no employer segment is left out of the sample.

Occupational Employment Statistics Area Map

Section V:  Estimation Technique

The OES Wage Survey estimates were calculated using information from the 1999, 2000, and 2001 surveys. Using three years of data reduces sampling error, particularly for small geographic areas and less common occupations. However, this technique also requires the adjustment of 1999 and 2000 data to the current reference period, the fourth quarter of 2001. This procedure is referred to as "wage updating." Estimates from the BLS Federal/State Cooperative OES program are produced for the most recent survey reference period that includes the 12th of the month. The BLS validated the results found in this publication.

For wage updating purposes, the BLS uses the national wage changes from the fourth quarter of the previous year to the fourth quarter of the reference year for the nine occupational divisions for which Employment Cost Index (ECI) estimates are available. This procedure assumes that each occupation's wage, as measured in each year, moves according to the average movement of its occupational division and that there are no major geographic or detailed occupational differences. In the BLS estimates, ECI factors were applied to 1999 and 2000 survey data to update them to the fourth quarter 2001.

The employment estimates for each occupation are based on the total number of jobs worked reported as part of the UI Covered Employment and Wages program. The BLS technical notes relating to the OES Wage Survey include the scope of the survey, an explanation of the UI Covered Employment and Wage program, occupational classification of 22 major occupational groups, size class, and hourly intervals.

Section VI: Wage Survey Definitions

* Annual Wages - Wages for certain occupations having a work year of less than 2,080 hours are reported as an annual salary.

Employment - Represents the jobs worked for wages, salaries, commissions, or tips from a private employer, a non-profit employer, or a governmental unit. This is the estimate of the number of jobs worked in an occupation across the industries in which it was reported. These numbers are rounded to the nearest ten.

Mean Wage - The estimated total wages for an occupation divided by its weighted survey employment. A measure of central tendency. If some values are far removed from the others (outlying), they can substantially influence the mean.

Entry Level Wage - Mean of the lower one-third of wage distribution.

Experienced Level Wage - Mean of the upper two-thirds of wage distribution

Percentile Wage Estimates - A percentile wage estimate shows the percentage of jobs worked in an occupation that earn less than a given wage and the percentage that earn more. 

The following Figure shows the statewide hourly wage for all occupations by percentile:

25th Percentile - 25 percent of jobs worked in an occupation are paid wages below $7.93 and 75 percent are paid wages above $7.93.

50th Percentile (Median) - The estimated 50th percentile of the wage distribution; 50 percent of jobs worked in an occupation are paid wages below $11.79 and 50 percent are paid wages above $11.79.

75th Percentile - 75 percent of jobs worked in an occupation are paid wages below $18.20 and 25 percent are paid wages above $18.20.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) -
A county or group of adjoining counties that contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 inhabitants or more.

ND - Information is not disclosable, due to confidentiality.

Occupational Title - A short title describing each occupation.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code - A six-digit code that identifies occupations as defined by the SOC classification system.

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