Occupational Employment and Wages

Data is derived from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. OES is a federal-state cooperative program between the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) and state agencies. Surveyed employers are asked about the number of wage and salary workers in detailed occupations and about the wage distribution for those workers. OES survey samples are drawn from the universe of non-farm employers covered by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system. Technical notes, estimates for other regions, downloadable estimates, and customizable tables are available on the USBLS OES website at http://www.bls.gov/oes/home.htm.

Tables

High-Wage, In-Demand Jobs in Maine by Education (Interactive)

Job Outlook to 2022 (Interactive)

Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, 2013

  • Statewide, County, and Metropolitan Areas (Excel) (Interactive)
  • Customizable Tables by Geography and Industry - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (HTML)

Survey Reporting

Links

FAQs

  • How are “employees” defined by the OES survey?
  • “Employees” are all part-time and full-time workers who are paid a wage or salary. The survey does not cover the self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, household workers, or unpaid family workers.

  • Can OES data be used to compare changes in employment or wages over time?
  • Although the OES survey methodology is designed to create detailed cross-sectional employment and wage estimates for the U.S., States, metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, across industry and by industry, it is less useful for comparisons of two or more points in time. Challenges in using OES data as a time series include changes in the occupational, industrial, and geographical classification systems, changes in the way data are collected, changes in the survey reference period, and changes in mean wage estimation methodology, as well as permanent features of the methodology.

  • Must I complete the OES survey form? Is there any other way to provide the information?
  • Instead of completing the standard survey form, you may also elect to send in a computer printout that includes job titles and wages. We do not require names of employees and all the information you provide is held confidential. You may always contact us by phone or email to discuss alternative methods.

  • What is done with the information collected from the OES survey?
  • Data from the survey is compiled and used to identify emerging and declining occupations and their corresponding average wages. The Occupational Employment & Wage Estimates for Maine and Maine counties are published annually on our Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) web page.

  • What wages do other companies pay their employees?
  • Maine law requires that the Center for Workforce Research and Information (CWRI) holds any information on employment and rates of pay provided by specific employers strictly confidential. Under the provisions of federal law, data on individual firms gathered for statistical purposes through state-federal cooperative programs cannot be made public by CWRI. The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program publishes hourly earnings data by occupation, and the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program produces average weekly wages by industry.

  • If the OES survey is voluntary, why should I provide data?
  • Your information is extremely important for the economic development of an area, county, state, and our nation. Measuring the economy through the accurate data collection, dissemination, analysis and production of employer information is our area of expertise. Surveys that we conduct, like this one, are key to ensuring we are keeping current with the economic development issues. The information we collect will ensure the quality of wage and employment data for your industry. Occupational wage information is used to produce several publications which are sent to high school students and displaced workers every year. These publications offer relevant (due to your response) information on over 180 career paths which may interest them.

  • What are mean wages? What are median wages?
  • The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces estimates of wages by occupation, i.e., the wages paid to wage or salary employees in a given occupation in the U.S., in a particular State, or in a particular industry. These occupational wage estimates are either estimates of mean wages or percentiles, such as the median wage.

    • A mean wage is an average wage. An occupational mean wage estimate is calculated by summing the wages of all the employees in a given occupation and then dividing the total wages by the number of employees.
    • A percentile wage is a boundary. For example, an occupational median wage (50th percentile) estimate is the boundary between the highest paid 50 percent and the lowest paid 50 percent of workers in that occupation. Half of the workers in a given occupation earn more than the median wage, and half the workers earn less than the median wage.

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Contact Information

Maine Department of Labor
Center for Workforce Research & Information
118 SHS
Augusta, ME 04333-0118

Merrill Huhtala
Phone: (207) 621-5196
TTY: Maine Relay 711
Fax: (207) 287-2947
Email: merrill.s.huhtala@maine.gov