Workers in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.53 in May 2013, about 8 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 2 of the 22 major occupational groups. Seventeen groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including legal; arts, design, entertainment sports, and media; and architecture and engineering.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including transportation and material moving; computer and mathematical; and office and administrative support. Conversely, 10 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management; production; and architecture and engineering. (See table A and box note at end of release.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Omaha||United States||Omaha||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social services
Education, training, and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioner and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
One occupational grouptransportation and material movingwas chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Omaha-Council Bluffs had 37,810 jobs in transportation and material moving, accounting for 8.3 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $15.58, compared to the national wage of $16.28.
With employment of 13,290, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was the largest occupation within the transportation and material moving group, followed by laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand (8,930) and packers and packagers, hand (2,520). Among the higher paying jobs were transportation inspectors and first-line supervisors of transportation and material-moving machine and vehicle operators, with mean hourly wages of $39.13 and $25.15, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were parking lot attendants ($9.84) and automotive and watercraft service attendants ($10.09). (Detailed occupational data for transportation and material moving are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/2013/may/oes_36540.htm.
Location quotients allow for the exploration of an areas occupational make-up 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 Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the transportation and material moving group. For instance, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers were employed at 2.4 times the national rate in Omaha, and machine feeders and offbearers, at 1.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, taxi drivers and chauffeurs had a location quotient of 1.0 in Omaha, indicating that this particular occupations 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 Nebraska Department of Labor and Iowa Workforce Development.
OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Omaha Metropolitan Statistical Area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.
NOTE: 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 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,184 establishments with a response rate of 82 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.
The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcst.htm and www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm , respectively.
The May 2013 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2012 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 2012 NAICS is available at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm .
The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
The Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebr. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders, and Washington Counties of Nebraska and Harrison, Mills, and Pottawattamie Counties of Iowa.
OES data are available on our regional web page at www.bls.gov/ro5/home.htm. 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/2013/may/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: 1-800-877-8339.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual(4)|
Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
First-Line Supervisors of Helpers, Laborers, and Material Movers, Hand
First-Line Supervisors of Transportation and Material-Moving Machine and Vehicle Operators
Bus Drivers, Transit and Intercity
Bus Drivers, School or Special Client
Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers
Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers
Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs
Motor Vehicle Operators, All Other
Parking Lot Attendants
Automotive and Watercraft Service Attendants
Transportation Workers, All Other
Conveyor Operators and Tenders
Crane and Tower Operators
Excavating and Loading Machine and Dragline Operators
Industrial Truck and Tractor Operators
Cleaners of Vehicles and Equipment
Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand
Machine Feeders and Offbearers
Packers and Packagers, Hand
Refuse and Recyclable Material Collectors
Material Moving Workers, All Other
Last Modified Date: May 21, 2014