Research & Planning (R&P), a section of the Department of Workforce Services, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), has conducted an Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wage Survey since 1996. 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. OES data are used to determine staffing patterns, develop employment projections, and for Foreign Labor Certification.
In Wyoming, the OES Wage Survey samples and contacts approximately 1,000 establishments by mail, e-mail, and phone in May and November of each year. Data obtained are used to estimate occupational employment and wage rates for Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered wage and salary jobs in non-farm establishments.
Wages for the OES survey are straight-time, gross pay, exclusive of premium pay. Items included in the survey are 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 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. Tip data are incorporated into the hourly estimates. The OES Wage Survey does not include benefit data.
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.
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 at http://www.bls.gov/oes. For more information, see the BLS Technical Notes (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm).
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 its respective website.
In order to better meet the needs of local users, Wyoming's R&P staff produced wage estimates for geographic areas not produced by the BLS. Due to confidentiality and quality criteria, estimates cannot be produced for every occupation in every geographic area. State created areas are not validated by the BLS and are not, therefore, official BLS data series.
R&P’s website (http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/) provides links to most of these sites on our National Links tab.
II: Industry Publication of Wages
The OES uses the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to produce estimates at the NAICS sector. These estimates and survey data are based on the 2017 NAICS. For more information, see the BLS website on NAICS (http://www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm).
For purposes of
classification, an establishment is defined as an economic unit that processes
goods or provides services, such as a factory, store, or mine. The
establishment is generally at a single physical location and is engaged
primarily in one type of economic activity. The OES survey covers all full- and
part-time wage and salary workers in non-farm industries. The survey does not
include the self-employed owners and partners in unincorporated firms,
household workers, or unpaid family workers.
The OES survey defines employment as the number of workers who can be classified as full-time or part-time employees, including workers on paid vacations or other types of paid leave; workers on unpaid short-term absences; salaried officers, executives, and staff members of incorporated firms; employees temporarily assigned to other units; and employees for whom the reporting unit is their permanent duty station regardless of whether that unit prepares their paycheck.
III: Method of Collection
The OES Wage Survey uses the Office of Management and Budget’s occupational classification system the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The SOC system is used by Federal statistical agencies to classify workers into occupational categories for the purpose of collecting, calculating, or disseminating data. All workers are classified into one of 810 detailed occupations according to their occupational definition. To facilitate classification, detailed occupations are combined to form 461 broad occupations, 97 minor groups, and 23 major groups. Detailed occupations in the SOC with similar job duties, and in some cases skills, education, and/or training, are grouped together.
The Standard Occupational
Classification system was revised in 2010; the changes can be
reviewed at: http://www.bls.gov/soc/#classification.
The SOC Classification
Principles form the basis on which the SOC system is structured.
1. The SOC 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
2. Occupations are
classified based on work performed and, in some cases, on the skills,
education, and/or training needed to perform the work at a competent level.
3. Workers primarily
engaged in planning and directing are classified in
management occupations in Major Group 11-0000. Duties of these workers may
4. Supervisors of workers
in Major Groups 13-0000 through 29-0000 usually have work experience and
perform activities similar to those of the workers they supervise, and
therefore are classified with the workers they supervise.
5. Workers in Major Group
31-0000 Healthcare Support Occupations assist and are usually supervised by
workers in Major Group 29-0000 Healthcare Practitioners and Technical
Occupations. Therefore, there are no first-line supervisor occupations in Major
6. Workers in Major
Groups 33-0000 through 53-0000 whose primary duty is supervising are classified
in the appropriate first-line supervisor category because their work activities
are distinct from those of the workers they supervise.
7. Apprentices and
trainees are classified with the occupations for which they are being trained,
while helpers and aides are classified separately because they are not in
training for the occupation they are helping.
8. If an occupation is
not included as a distinct detailed occupation in the structure, it is
classified in an appropriate “All Other,” or residual, occupation. “All Other” occupations are placed in the structure when it is
determined that the detailed occupations comprising a broad occupation group do
not account for all of the workers in the group. These occupations appear as
the last occupation in the group with a code ending in “9” and are identified
in their title by having “All Other” appear at the end.
The SOC Coding Guidelines
are intended to assist users in consistently assigning SOC codes and titles to
survey responses and in other coding activities.
1. A worker should be assigned to an SOC occupation code based on work performed.
2. When workers in a
single job could be coded in more than one occupation, they should be coded in
the occupation that requires the highest level of skill. If there is no
measurable difference in skill requirements, workers should be coded in the
occupation in which they spend the most time. Workers whose job is to teach at
different levels (e.g., elementary, middle, or secondary) should be coded in
the occupation corresponding to the highest educational level they teach.
3. Data collection and
reporting agencies should assign workers to the most detailed occupation
possible. Different agencies may use different levels of aggregation, depending
on their ability to collect data. For more information on data produced using
the SOC, see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.
4. Workers who perform
activities not described in any distinct detailed occupation in the SOC
structure should be coded in an appropriate “All Other” or residual occupation.
These residual occupational categories appear as the last occupation in a group
with a code ending in “9” and are identified by having the words “All Other” appear at the end of the title.
5. Workers in Major
Groups 33-0000 through 53-0000 who spend 80 percent or more of their time
performing supervisory activities are coded in the appropriate first-line
supervisor category in the SOC. In these same Major Groups (33-0000 through
53-0000), persons with supervisory duties who spend less than 80 percent of
their time supervising are coded with the workers they supervise.
6. Licensed and
non-licensed workers performing the same work should be coded together in the
same detailed occupation, except where specified otherwise in the SOC
Section IV: Geographic Coverage of Estimates
The data for Wyoming are collected for four regions and the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), 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 drawn randomly and 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.
Employment Statistics Area Map
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.
Blank or Zero in Employment Cell - This is showing that the number of employees is either less than 5, not available, or not publishable.
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.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) - Used as a six digit hierarchical coding system to classify all economic activity into twenty industry sectors. For more information on NAICS, see the BLS website on NAICS (http://www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm).
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.
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.
Percentile - 25 percent of jobs
worked in an occupation are paid wages below $13.82 and 75 percent are paid
wages above $13.82.
50th Percentile (Median) - The estimated 50th percentile of the wage distribution; 50 percent of jobs worked in an occupation are paid wages below $20.08 and 50 percent are paid wages above $20.08.
75th Percentile - 75 percent of jobs worked in an occupation are paid wages below $30.33 and 25 percent are paid wages above $30.33.
Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) - A county or group of adjoining counties that contain at least one urbanized area of 50,000 inhabitants or more. Wyoming’s MSA’s are Casper and Cheyenne.
Occupational Title - A short title describing each occupation.
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Code - A six-digit code that identifies occupations as defined by the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. For more information on the SOC system, see the BLS website on SOC (http://www.bls.gov/soc/).