Occupational Employment and Wages

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Massachusetts occupational employment and wage data are derived from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, a program operated in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data are collected statewide and for seven Metropolitan New England City and Town Statistical Areas (NECTA's).

In addition, the Department of Unemployment Assistance produces occupational employment and wages for the Commonwealth's 16 Workforce Development Areas (WDA's) and nine Metropolitan NECTA Divisions. Though these estimates were produced using the BLS methodology, they are not official BLS estimates.

NOTE TO DATA USERS: As of April 2, 2021, the May 2020 survey data are available.

The May 2020 estimates do not fully reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Estimates for a given reference period are based on a sample of business establishments collected in six semiannual panels for three consecutive years. Each year, two new semiannual survey panels are added, and the two oldest panels are dropped. Older panel wage data are aged to reflect the reference date of the estimates, and employment data are benchmarked to reflect known employment for the average of the two most recent panels. Using six data panels to produce each set of estimates allows data to be produced at very detailed levels of occupation, geography, and industry, but also means that sudden changes in staffing patterns or wages are reflected in the OEWS estimates only gradually.

The May 2020 employment and wage estimates were calculated using data collected in the May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017 semiannual panels. Because five of the six survey panels used to produce the estimates date from before the COVID-19 pandemic, only the most recent (May 2020) survey panel would reflect changes in occupational proportions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For additional information about the effect of the pandemic on OEWS estimates:
https://www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-covid-19-pandemic-on-occupational-employment-and-wage-statistics.htm

With the May 2019 estimates, the OEWS program began implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. OES estimates are calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates were based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. These combinations may include occupations from more than one 2018 SOC minor group or broad occupation. Therefore, OEWS will not publish data for some 2018 SOC minor groups and broad occupations in the May 2020 estimates. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OEWS estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.

In addition, the OEWS program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OEWS will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides.

For Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics methodology:
https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm

For assistance, please email detlmi@detma.org

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