Section I: Purpose

Research & Planning (R&P), a section of the Employment Resources Division within the Department of Employment, has conducted an annual Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wage Survey for the last three years. Occupational wage information helps employers determine whether or not their wages are competitive. Employment and training organizations, such as community colleges, vocational counselors and individuals, also use wage data to assist students in making career decisions. Every state conducts the same wage survey using the same procedures, (occupational classification system, processing software, estimations system and sample frame) so wages can be compared from state to state and nationally. National and other states' wages are located on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) web site.

Section II: Introduction

The OES Wage Survey is an annual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered wage and salary workers in non-farm establishments. In 1998, Wyoming sampled 1,469 units (an economic unit, generally at a single physical location, where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed). In 1998, the response rate was 83.3% for units and 82.2% for employment.

The Occupational Employment Statistics Wage Survey data presented in this publication have a fourth quarter 1998 reference period, and are based on information collected during the 1998, 1997 and 1996 surveys. The three years of sample responses for employment and wage data have been combined to produce this year's results. The 1996 and 1997 wage data have been adjusted to the 1998 reference period by using the over-the-year wage change in the most applicable Employment Cost Index series. The employment estimates have been adjusted to the full universe counts for the 1998 survey reference period based on the Covered Employment and Wage program. See BLS technical notes for further explanation.

Wages for the OES Wage Survey include: base rates, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay (including: commissions, piece rates and production bonuses, length-of-service allowances, on-call pay and portal-to-portal pay). Items excluded: 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, uniform allowances and tips. Tips were not included in this year's data, but will be collected next year.

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 less than 2,080 hours (for example, musical and entertainment occupations, flight attendants, pilots and teachers, are reported as an annual wage) are marked with an asterisk (*) beside the occupational title. The median wage is not available for some occupations on the regional tables. In these cases, the column heading is marked with a double asterisk (**) and the unavailable wages are intentionally left blank. Wages that are non-disclosable due to confidentiality are marked as N.A. (not available).

Section III: Method of Collection

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) classification system

For the last three years (1996-1998), the survey has been collected using the OES classification system. This system uses seven major occupational divisions to categorize workers in one of 750 detailed occupations. We are presently collecting data for next year's survey round using the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system.

Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system

The SOC system was developed in response to a growing need for a universal occupational classification system. Such a classification system will allow government agencies and private industries to produce comparable data. It will be used by all federal agencies collecting occupational data, providing a means to compare occupational data across agencies. 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 and 98 minor groups of occupations requiring similar job duties, skills, education or experience.

Geographic Coverage

The data for Wyoming are collected for four regions and the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA), Casper and Cheyenne (see map in Appendix A).

Section IV: Wage Survey Glossary

General Definitions

Entry Level Wage - The bottom 25 percent of wages reported (first quartile).

Median - The estimated 50th percentile of the wage distribution; 50 percent of workers in an occupation earn wages below and 50 percent earn wages above the median wage.

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

Experienced Level Wage - The top 75 percent of wages reported (last three quartiles).

Code This five-digit code identifies occupations as defined by the Occupational Employment Statistics program.

Occupational Title A short title describing each occupation included in the Occupational Employment Statistics classification system.

N.A. Information is not available, due to confidentiality.

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

** - Median wage is not available for some occupations.

NEC - Not elsewhere classified.

Occupational Definitions

Managerial and Administrative (10000-19999) Includes all top and middle managers, administrators and executives. Primary duties are policy making, planning, staffing, directing or controlling the activities of industrial, commercial, governmental or other establishments.

Professional, Paraprofessional and Technical (20000-30000) - Includes persons concerned with the theoretical or practical aspects of such fields as science, art, education, law and business relations where substantial postsecondary educational preparation or equivalent on-the-job training or experience is required. Occupations in this section are ordered as follows: general management support; engineering and scientific; data processing and mathematical; social sciences, law and related; teaching and related; medicine and health; writing, art and related.

Sales and Related (40000-49999) Includes persons selling goods or services and others directly related to sales.

Clerical and Administrative Support (50000-59999) Includes persons performing office and plant clerical tasks, such as typing, filing, computer operating, records keeping (personnel, stock, production, billing, etc.) and mail preparation and distributing.

Service (60000-69999) Includes workers in occupations relating to protective service, food service, health assisting service, cleaning and building service, and personal service.

Agricultural, Forestry, Fishing and Related (70000-79999) Included in this division are workers concerned with agricultural production, forestry, and fishing. Also included in this division are agriculture related workers such as animal caretakers and grounds keepers.

Production, Construction, Operating, Maintenance and Material Handling (80000-99999) Includes all skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers performing machine and manual tasks involving production, construction, operating, maintenance, repair and material handling operations.

Industry Definitions

Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Includes establishments primarily engaged in agricultural production, forestry, commercial fishing, hunting and trapping, and related services.

Mining Includes establishments engaged in the extraction of minerals occurring naturally: solids, such as coal and ores; liquids, such as crude petroleum; and gases, such as natural gas. Quarrying, well operation, milling, and related services are also included.

Construction Includes establishments engaged in "construction" activities such as new work, additions, alterations, and repairs. Major areas are general contractors, special trade contractors, and operative builders.

Manufacturing Includes establishments engaged in the mechanical or chemical transformation of materials or substances into new products and in assembling component parts of manufactured products into new products.

Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU) Includes establishments providing to the general public or to other business enterprises, passenger and freight transportation, communication services, electricity, gas, steam, water or sanitary services, and the U.S. Postal Service.

Wholesale Trade Includes establishments primarily engaged in selling merchandise to retailers, to industrial, commercial, institutional, farm, or professional users, or to other wholesalers, sales branches or offices of mining or manufacturing enterprises, agents, commodity brokers, petroleum bulk stations and cooperative marketers of farm products, to contractors with the exception of lumber yards and paint, glass, and wallpaper stores.

Retail Trade Includes establishments engaged in selling merchandise to the general public for personal or household consumption. They are generally places of business engaged in activities to attract the general public to buy, and render services incidental to the sale of the goods.

Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) Includes establishments operating primarily in the fields of finance (banks, investment companies, credit agencies, etc.), insurance (carriers, agents, brokers, etc.), and real estate (lessors, sellers, agents, developers, etc.).

Services Includes establishments engaged in providing a wide variety of services for individuals, business and government establishments, and other organizations. Included in the category are lodging places, repair services, professional services, educational institutions, etc.

State and Local Government Includes the legislative, judicial, administrative and regulatory activities of state and local governments.

For more information about the Occupational Wage Survey, please contact Research & Planning using the address or telephone number below:

Research & Planning
PO Box 2760
Casper, WY 82602
(307) 473-3805


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