The Occupational Employment Statistics Program - Measuring Occupational Wages and Employment Growth

Author(s): Bureau of Labor Statistics

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program is government’s most geographically-detailed source of information on detailed occupations and wages earned.  It is also the principal source for BLS employment projections..

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations.  National occupational estimates for specific industries are also available.

These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas and local areas - this includes 375 MSAs, 34 metro divisions and more than 170 metro areas.

In collecting data on employees in nonfarm establishments for over 800 occupations, and more than 450 industries (at the national level), the OES data are geographically and economically detailed.

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For each occupation, data are shown for employment totals plus the mean annual and hourly wages, and the annual wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th (median), 75th, and 90th percentiles. Data are issued about a year after the reference period.

Because the survey design incorporates data from a 3-year reference period, great care must be used in using OES data for historical analyses (to avoid overlapping years, only every 4th year can be chose for historical comparisons).

The survey includes 1.2 million establishments.  BLS initiated the OES in 1971, and data are available online for 1997 and later.  OES data before 1997 do not include state, metropolitan, or nonmetropolitan areas.

The OES website and database includes:


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Posted: 6/19/2017 2:51 PM
Posted By: Teresa Theis
Posted In: LMI Central
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