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News Release Information

Thursday, August 04, 2022

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  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Fargo — May 2021

Workers in the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $25.52 in May 2021, 9 percent below the nationwide average of $28.01, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Jason Palmer noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 13 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical, legal, and management. Three groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages, including transportation and material moving and healthcare support.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Fargo area employment was more highly concentrated in 7 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, personal care and service, and transportation and material moving. Eleven groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including protective service, management, and production. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Fargo metropolitan area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2021
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Fargo United States Fargo Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $28.01 $25.52* -9


6.3 5.3* 59.31 49.71* -16

Business and financial operations

6.4 5.7* 39.72 34.03* -14

Computer and mathematical

3.3 2.8* 48.01 35.99* -25

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.3* 44.10 37.22* -16

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.9 38.81 32.33* -17

Community and social service

1.6 1.5* 25.94 25.26* -3


0.8 0.6* 54.38 43.45* -20

Educational instruction and library

5.8 5.2* 29.88 27.78* -7

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.7* 31.78 23.13* -27

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 9.1* 43.80 38.05* -13

Healthcare support

4.7 4.7 16.02 16.77* 5

Protective service

2.4 1.2* 25.68 25.39 -1

Food preparation and serving related

8.0 7.6* 14.16 14.10 0

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.2* 16.23 16.37 1

Personal care and service

1.8 2.8* 16.17 14.79* -9

Sales and related

9.4 9.4 22.15 22.40 1

Office and administrative support

13.0 12.9 20.88 20.47* -2

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 16.70 18.68* 12

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.9* 26.87 25.40* -5

Installation, maintenance, and repair

4.0 4.2* 25.66 25.41 -1


6.0 5.0* 20.71 20.63 0

Transportation and material moving

9.0 9.9* 19.88 20.65* 4

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Fargo had 12,330 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 9.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $38.05, significantly below the national wage of $43.80.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (5,070) and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (1,040). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were family medicine physicians and general dentists, with mean hourly wages of $134.86 and $76.45, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were emergency medical technicians ($15.11) and psychiatric technicians ($16.59). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical 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 Fargo area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, psychiatric technicians were employed at 2.4 times the national rate in Fargo, and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians, at 2.0 times the U.S. average. Pharmacy technicians had a location quotient of 0.9 in Fargo, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Job Service North Dakota, and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development.

Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Data

With the May 2021 estimates release, the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program has implemented a new model-based (MB3) estimation method. For more information, see the May 2021 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement at and the Monthly Labor Review article at OEWS estimates for the years 2015-19 were recalculated using the new estimation method and are available as research estimates at

The May 2021 OEWS estimates are also the first estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. To improve data quality, the OEWS program aggregates some occupations to the SOC broad occupation level or as OEWS-specific combinations of 2018 SOC detailed occupations.

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OEWS data are available at

The OEWS survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2021 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, and November 2018. The unweighted sampled employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 62 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 67.2 percent based on establishments and 64.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area included 1,922 establishments with a response rate of 73 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to

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.

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 Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Clay County MN, and Cass County, ND.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.

Table 1. Employment and wage data for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, Fargo metropolitan area, May 2021
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

12,330 1.5 $38.05 $79,140


80 2.3 41.91 87,160

Dentists, general

100 1.0 76.45 159,010

Dietitians and nutritionists

80 1.2 29.80 61,990


30 0.9 56.29 117,090


520 1.7 55.15 114,710

Physician assistants

140 1.1 56.73 118,000

Occupational therapists

170 1.4 33.91 70,540

Physical therapists

280 1.3 38.45 79,980

Respiratory therapists

170 1.3 30.66 63,760

Speech-language pathologists

150 1.0 32.47 67,540


90 1.2 46.91 97,570

Registered nurses

5,070 1.7 34.93 72,650

Nurse practitioners

260 1.2 53.81 111,920

Family medicine physicians

70 0.8 134.86 280,510

Physicians, all other

450 1.8 92.94 193,320

Dental hygienists

300 1.5 31.38 65,260

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

610 2.0 26.36 54,830

Diagnostic medical sonographers

110 1.4 32.54 67,680

Radiologic technologists and technicians

350 1.7 28.60 59,500

Emergency medical technicians

40 0.3 15.11 31,430

Pharmacy technicians

360 0.9 19.82 41,230

Psychiatric technicians

210 2.4 16.59 34,510

Surgical technologists

170 1.6 24.49 50,940

Veterinary technologists and technicians

130 1.1 17.49 36,380

Ophthalmic medical technicians

120 1.9 20.35 42,320

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

1,040 1.7 23.12 48,100

Medical records specialists

130 0.7 23.47 48,820

Opticians, dispensing

160 2.3 18.46 38,410

Health technologists and technicians, all other

270 2.0 23.70 49,290

Athletic trainers

70 2.7 (5) 50,490

Healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

50 1.2 39.00 81,120

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are 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) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, August 04, 2022