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Friday, May 17, 2013


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Occupational Employment and Wages in Rockford, Ill. MSA – May 2012

Workers in the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $19.81 in May 2012, about 10 percent below the nationwide average of $22.01, to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 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 1 of the 22 major occupational groups: construction and extraction. Eleven groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including computer and mathematical; management; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 2 of the 22 occupational groups: production, and transportation and material moving. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support; business and financial operations; and computer and mathematical.

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2012
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Rockford United States Rockford Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0% 100.0% $22.01 $19.81* -10


4.9 4.5* 52.20 43.68* -16

Business and financial operations

4.9 3.0* 33.44 27.27* -18

Computer and mathematical

2.7 0.8* 38.55 29.66* -23

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.6 37.98 32.03* -16

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.3* 32.87 30.73* -7

Community and social services

1.4 1.4 21.27 20.40 -4


0.8 0.4* 47.39 50.25 6

Education, training, and library

6.4 6.5 24.62 24.37 -1

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 0.9* 26.20 18.08* -31

Healthcare practitioner and technical

5.9 7.1 35.35 34.41 -3

Healthcare support

3.0 3.1 13.36 13.60 2

Protective service

2.5 2.0 20.70 16.96* -18

Food preparation and serving related

8.9 8.0* 10.28 9.80* -5

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.3 2.5* 12.34 12.65 3

Personal care and service

2.9 2.4* 11.80 10.62* -10

Sales and related

10.6 9.7* 18.26 16.33* -11

Office and administrative support

16.4 14.2* 16.54 15.12* -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2)* 11.65 11.20 -4

Construction and extraction

3.8 2.5* 21.61 26.60* 23

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.8 21.09 21.93 4


6.6 15.4* 16.59 17.25 4

Transportation and material moving

6.7 10.0* 16.15 15.25 -6

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Rockford is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Indicates a value of less than 0.05 percent
* The percent share of employment or mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Rockford had 21,550 jobs in production, accounting for 15.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.6-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $17.25, compared to the national wage of $16.59.

With employment of 5,760, team assemblers was the largest occupation within the production group, followed by machinists (2,940) and helpers--production workers (1,180). Among the higher paying jobs were stationary engineers and boiler operators and water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators, with mean hourly wages of $30.33 and $28.25, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.47) and bakers ($10.74). (Detailed occupational data for production are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40420.htm)

Location quotients allow for the exploration of an area’s 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 Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic were employed at 8.5 times the national rate in Rockford, and engine and other machine assemblers, at 8.1 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, butchers and meat cutters had a location quotient of 1.0 in Rockford, indicating that this particular occupation’s 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 Illinois Department of Employment Security.

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc.

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm .

OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Rockford 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.

Technical Note

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 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. The sample in the Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,716 establishments with a response rate of 79 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/news.release/ocwage.tn.htm.

Area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The Rockford, Ill. Metropolitan Statistical Area&nbsp includes Boone and Winnebago Counties.

Additional information

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/2012/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.

OOH Earnings Table Extraction Wizard - output frame
Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Rockford Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2012
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual(4)

Production Occupations


First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers


Electrical and Electronic Equipment Assemblers


Electromechanical Equipment Assemblers


Engine and Other Machine Assemblers


Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters


Team Assemblers


Assemblers and Fabricators, All Other




Butchers and Meat Cutters


Food Batchmakers


Computer-Controlled Machine Tool Operators, Metal and Plastic


Computer Numerically Controlled Machine Tool Programmers, Metal and Plastic


Extruding and Drawing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Forging Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Rolling Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Cutting, Punching, and Press Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Drilling and Boring Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Grinding, Lapping, Polishing, and Buffing Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Lathe and Turning Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Milling and Planing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic




Molding, Coremaking, and Casting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Multiple Machine Tool Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Tool and Die Makers


Welders, Cutters, Solderers, and Brazers


Welding, Soldering, and Brazing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Heat Treating Equipment Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic


Tool Grinders, Filers, and Sharpeners


Metal Workers and Plastic Workers, All Other


Prepress Technicians and Workers


Printing Press Operators


Print Binding and Finishing Workers


Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers


Pressers, Textile, Garment, and Related Materials


Sewing Machine Operators


Cabinetmakers and Bench Carpenters


Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators


Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators


Grinding and Polishing Workers, Hand


Mixing and Blending Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Cutting and Slicing Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Extruding, Forming, Pressing, and Compacting Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers


Dental Laboratory Technicians


Packaging and Filling Machine Operators and Tenders


Coating, Painting, and Spraying Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Painters, Transportation Equipment


Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators


Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders


Helpers--Production Workers


Production Workers, All Other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Rockford, IL, see www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_40420.htm.
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a ‘year-round, full-time’ hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.

Last Modified Date: May 17, 2013

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