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News Release Information

Thursday, September 01, 2022

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  • (312) 353-1138

Occupational Employment and Wages in Fort Wayne — May 2021

Workers in the Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $24.20 in May 2021, 14 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 20 of the 22 major occupational groups, including computer and mathematical; legal; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media. Only one group had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages: production.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Fort Wayne area employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including production, healthcare practitioners and technical, and transportation and material moving. Twelve groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including business and financial operations, management, and computer and mathematical. (See table A.)

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

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $28.01 $24.20* -14


6.3 4.8* 59.31 50.41* -15

Business and financial operations

6.4 4.8* 39.72 32.21* -19

Computer and mathematical

3.3 1.9* 48.01 36.83* -23

Architecture and engineering

1.7 1.8* 44.10 39.16* -11

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.5* 38.81 31.65* -18

Community and social service

1.6 1.5 25.94 23.04* -11


0.8 0.6* 54.38 44.68* -18

Educational instruction and library

5.8 4.8* 29.88 23.09* -23

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.3 31.78 22.51* -29

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 7.6* 43.80 43.94 0

Healthcare support

4.7 4.2* 16.02 15.21* -5

Protective service

2.4 1.5* 25.68 23.58* -8

Food preparation and serving related

8.0 8.5* 14.16 12.32* -13

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 2.7* 16.23 14.35* -12

Personal care and service

1.8 1.7* 16.17 13.95* -14

Sales and related

9.4 9.3 22.15 20.29* -8

Office and administrative support

13.0 12.0* 20.88 19.07* -9

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 0.1* 16.70 15.64* -6

Construction and extraction

4.2 4.1 26.87 25.92* -4

Installation, maintenance, and repair

4.0 4.4* 25.66 23.89* -7


6.0 11.8* 20.71 21.34* 3

Transportation and material moving

9.0 10.0* 19.88 17.99* -10

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Fort Wayne, IN 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—production—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Fort Wayne had 24,590 jobs in production, accounting for 11.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.0-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $21.34, significantly above the national wage of $20.71.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the production group included miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators (7,290), machinists (2,200), and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (1,570). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were first-line supervisors of production and operating workers and tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners, with mean hourly wages of $30.33 and $28.11, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were laundry and dry-cleaning workers ($12.46) and bakers ($14.07). (Detailed data for the 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 Fort Wayne area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the production group. For instance, extruding and drawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic were employed at 8.4 times the national rate in Fort Wayne, and machinists, at 4.5 times the U.S. average. Butchers and meat cutters had a location quotient of 1.0 in Fort Wayne, 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 Indiana Department of Workforce 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 Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,011 establishments with a response rate of 76 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 Fort Wayne, IN Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Allen, Wells, and Whitley Counties.

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 production occupations, Fort Wayne metropolitan area, May 2021
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Production occupations

24,590 2.0 $21.34 $44,400

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

1,570 1.7 30.33 63,090

Coil winders, tapers, and finishers

80 4.9 17.86 37,140

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

790 2.0 17.83 37,080

Engine and other machine assemblers

50 0.7 22.75 47,320

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

120 1.3 20.07 41,740

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

7,290 3.7 22.91 47,650


130 0.5 14.07 29,270

Butchers and meat cutters

210 1.0 15.39 32,000

Food and tobacco roasting, baking, and drying machine operators and tenders

40 1.4 17.98 37,390

Food batchmakers

160 0.7 16.34 33,980

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

740 8.4 20.64 42,930

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

150 3.3 21.92 45,590

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

1,010 3.8 17.97 37,370

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

190 1.9 16.77 34,870

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

100 3.6 20.06 41,730


2,200 4.5 22.55 46,910

Metal-refining furnace operators and tenders

110 4.6 21.31 44,320

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

790 3.3 19.81 41,200

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

860 4.3 22.49 46,790

Tool and die makers

300 3.2 25.78 53,630

Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers

680 1.2 20.89 43,450

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

130 2.9 18.24 37,940

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

40 2.1 16.68 34,690

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

140 2.9 16.24 33,780

Tool grinders, filers, and sharpeners

40 4.7 28.11 58,460

Prepress technicians and workers

50 1.3 17.98 37,410

Printing press operators

360 1.7 18.69 38,880

Print binding and finishing workers

60 1.0 18.69 38,870

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

210 0.9 12.46 25,930

Sewing machine operators

220 1.3 15.37 31,960

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

220 1.6 18.86 39,220

Furniture finishers

80 3.2 16.77 34,890

Sawing machine setters, operators, and tenders, wood

70 1.1 15.19 31,590

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders, except sawing

90 0.9 17.20 35,780

Woodworkers, all other

40 3.1 16.99 35,330

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

150 0.8 23.88 49,670

Chemical equipment operators and tenders

50 0.3 22.46 46,730

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

40 0.9 18.31 38,080

Grinding and polishing workers, hand

40 1.7 17.34 36,060

Mixing and blending machine setters, operators, and tenders

330 2.0 22.08 45,920

Cutting and slicing machine setters, operators, and tenders

140 1.7 18.53 38,550

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

170 2.0 20.92 43,510

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

1,260 1.5 19.73 41,040

Dental laboratory technicians

60 1.1 20.16 41,940

Ophthalmic laboratory technicians

50 1.7 15.68 32,620

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

420 0.8 16.00 33,280

Painting, coating, and decorating workers

120 6.7 18.00 37,440

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

380 1.8 19.35 40,250

Computer numerically controlled tool operators

400 1.7 20.10 41,820

Computer numerically controlled tool programmers

70 1.9 26.03 54,130

Cleaning, washing, and metal pickling equipment operators and tenders

40 1.8 16.00 33,290

Etchers and engravers

30 2.9 16.62 34,560

Molders, shapers, and casters, except metal and plastic

60 1.0 17.10 35,560

Paper goods machine setters, operators, and tenders

110 0.9 18.93 39,370

Helpers--production workers

290 1.0 16.02 33,310

Production workers, all other

80 0.3 16.02 33,320

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Fort Wayne, IN 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.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, September 01, 2022