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News Release Information

Friday, May 18, 2018

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Elkhart-Goshen — May 2017

Workers in the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.31 in May 2017, about 17 percent below the nationwide average of $24.34, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Charlene Peiffer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; computer and mathematical; and architecture and engineering. Wages in four groups were not measurably different from their national averages, including production and sales and related. 

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 3 of the 22 occupational groups: production; installation, maintenance, and repair; and transportation and material moving. Conversely, 19 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including food preparation and serving related; office and administrative support; and sales and related. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2017
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Elkhart United States Elkhart Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.34 $20.31* -17


5.1 3.8* 57.65 49.49* -14

Business and financial operations

5.2 2.7* 36.70 29.23* -20

Computer and mathematical

3.0 0.8* 43.18 30.20* -30

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.4* 41.44 30.22* -27

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.2* 35.76 28.24* -21

Community and social service

1.5 0.8* 23.10 20.59* -11


0.8 0.2* 51.62 30.42* -41

Education, training, and library

6.1 3.4* 26.67 20.47* -23

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 0.6* 28.34 20.25* -29

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 3.9* 38.83 35.29 -9

Healthcare support

2.9 1.3* 15.05 14.35* -5

Protective service

2.4 1.0* 22.69 19.34* -15

Food preparation and serving related

9.3 5.8* 11.88 10.36* -13

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 1.9* 13.91 13.39* -4

Personal care and service

3.6 1.3* 13.11 11.80* -10

Sales and related

10.2 7.1* 19.56 20.27 4

Office and administrative support

15.4 12.2* 18.24 17.22* -6

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 13.87 16.98 22

Construction and extraction

4.0 2.8* 24.01 21.51* -10

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 4.8* 23.02 20.58* -11


6.3 36.0* 18.30 18.61 2

Transportation and material moving

7.0 7.7* 17.82 16.41* -8

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* 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. Elkhart-Goshen had 45,850 jobs in production, accounting for 36.0 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $18.61, compared to the national wage of $18.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers (19,620); first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (2,400); and welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers (2,100). Among the higher paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers with mean hourly wages of $29.17 and tool and die makers, $22.40. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($9.51) and butchers and meat cutters ($10.62). (Detailed data for production occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations available go to

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area 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 Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, fiberglass laminators and fabricators were employed at 68.7 times the national rate in Elkhart, and upholsterers, at 25.5 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, bakers had a location quotient of 1.0 in Elkhart, 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 Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Notes on Occupational Employment Statistics Data

With the release of the May 2017 estimates, the OES program has replaced 21 detailed occupations found in the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) with 10 new aggregations of those occupations. In addition, selected 4- and 5-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industries previously published by OES will no longer be published separately. Some of the 4-digit NAICS industries that are no longer being published separately will instead be published as OES-specific industry aggregations. More information about the new occupational and industry aggregations is available at

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 survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 650 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), metropolitan divisions, nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-, 4-, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2017 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, November 2015, May 2015, and November 2014. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 72 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The unweighted sample employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 percent of total national employment. The sample in the Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,341 establishments with a response rate of 77 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The May 2017 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system and the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2017 NAICS is available at

Metropolitan 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 Elkhart-Goshen, Ind. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Elkhart County.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement on the BLS website at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request . Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Elkhart-Goshen Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2017
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

45,850 5.7 $18.61 $38,710

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

2,400 4.4 29.17 60,670

Electrical, electronic, and electromechanical assemblers, except coil winders, tapers, and finishers

810 3.5 12.36 25,710

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

(5) (5) 19.02 39,550

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators

1,230 68.7 13.93 28,980

Assemblers and fabricators, all other, including team assemblers

19,620 16.8 20.57 42,780


160 1.0 10.73 22,320

Butchers and meat cutters

(5) (5) 10.62 22,090

Food batchmakers

50 0.4 13.02 27,080

Computer-controlled machine tool operators, metal and plastic

760 5.9 17.21 35,800

Computer numerically controlled machine tool programmers, metal and plastic

50 2.5 21.74 45,210

Extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

270 4.1 18.13 37,720

Rolling machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

100 4.4 17.03 35,430

Cutting, punching, and press machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

1,490 8.9 14.83 30,850

Grinding, lapping, polishing, and buffing machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

200 3.0 16.88 35,100

Lathe and turning machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

120 4.5 20.09 41,780

Milling and planing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

(5) (5) 14.64 30,450


620 1.9 18.22 37,900

Molding, coremaking, and casting machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

1,720 12.5 15.52 32,270

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

280 2.6 18.87 39,240

Tool and die makers

380 5.8 22.40 46,580

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

2,100 6.3 18.47 38,420

Welding, soldering, and brazing machine setters, operators, and tenders

210 6.0 18.18 37,810

Heat treating equipment setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

(5) (5) 15.97 33,220

Plating and coating machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

(5) (5) 14.01 29,140

Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

(5) (5) 16.50 34,320

Printing press operators

100 0.7 16.92 35,190

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

100 0.5 9.51 19,780

Sewing machine operators

830 6.8 14.45 30,050


740 25.5 14.65 30,480

Textile, apparel, and furnishings workers, all other

(5) (5) 11.34 23,580

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

1,040 11.9 18.22 37,890

Furniture finishers

350 22.1 15.23 31,690

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

310 6.8 14.63 30,430

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

860 12.1 14.92 31,030

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

70 0.6 19.93 41,460

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

30 0.5 16.03 33,340

Crushing, grinding, and polishing machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 13.97 29,060

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

210 7.9 14.98 31,150

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

340 2.9 17.08 35,530

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

230 4.2 13.25 27,560

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

150 2.3 14.28 29,700

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

1,560 3.3 17.90 37,230

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

920 2.6 14.42 29,990

Coating, painting, and spraying machine setters, operators, and tenders

550 7.2 16.09 33,460

Painters, transportation equipment

1,050 22.2 16.84 35,030

Painting, coating, and decorating workers

110 9.2 14.39 29,930

Adhesive bonding machine operators and tenders

(5) (5) 15.09 31,390

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

100 2.8 18.58 38,650

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

(5) (5) 15.44 32,120

Helpers--production workers

1,110 3.1 14.19 29,510

Production workers, all other

240 1.1 13.84 28,790

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Elkhart-Goshen, IN, see
(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: Friday, May 18, 2018