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News Release Information

Thursday, June 27, 2019

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  • (646) 264-3620

Occupational Employment and Wages in Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls — May 2018

Workers in the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $23.76 in May 2018, about 5 percent below the nationwide average of $24.98, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were lower than their respective national averages in 7 of the 22 major occupational groups, including legal; life, physical, and social science; and computer and mathematical. Three groups had significantly higher wages than their respective national averages.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 9 of the 22 occupational groups, including office and administrative support; education, training, and library; and personal care and service. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including management; transportation and material moving; and business and financial operations. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2018
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Buffalo United States Buffalo Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.98 $23.76* -5


5.3 4.0* 58.44 58.57 0

Business and financial operations

5.3 4.7* 36.98 33.89* -8

Computer and mathematical

3.0 2.7* 44.01 37.28* -15

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.3* 42.01 37.40* -11

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 0.9* 36.62 29.74* -19

Community and social service

1.5 2.0* 23.69 22.95 -3


0.8 0.9* 52.25 42.16* -19

Education, training, and library

6.1 7.1* 27.22 27.32 0

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.1* 28.74 27.65 -4

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 6.6* 39.42 38.43 -3

Healthcare support

2.8 2.6* 15.57 15.77 1

Protective service

2.4 2.7* 23.36 23.26 0

Food preparation and serving related

9.2 9.8* 12.30 13.04* 6

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 3.0 14.43 14.94 4

Personal care and service

3.8 4.5* 13.51 13.57 0

Sales and related

10.0 10.1 20.09 19.01* -5

Office and administrative support

15.1 16.4* 18.75 18.78 0

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2)* 14.49 17.20* 19

Construction and extraction

4.1 3.6* 24.62 25.14 2

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.8 23.54 23.50 0


6.3 6.4 18.84 19.95* 6

Transportation and material moving

7.1 5.9* 18.41 17.22* -6

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Indicates a value of less than 0.05 percent
* 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—business and financial operations—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls had 26,160 jobs in business and financial operations, accounting for 4.7 percent of local area employment, significantly lower than the 5.3-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $33.89, significantly below the national wage of $36.98.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the business and financial operations group included accountants and auditors (4,750), human resources specialists (1,940), and market research analysts and marketing specialists (1,930). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were personal financial advisors and insurance underwriters, with mean hourly wages of $59.81 and $44.76, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were tax preparers ($18.14) and meeting, convention, and event planners ($19.92). (Detailed data for the business and financial operations 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 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the business and financial operations group. For instance, compliance officers were employed at 1.7 times the national rate in Buffalo, and insurance underwriters, at 1.7 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, accountants and auditors had a location quotient of 1.0 in Buffalo, 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 New York State Department of Labor.

Area Changes to the May 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

OES continues to publish data for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas that cover the full geography of the United States. However, the level of detail available has decreased.

OES no longer publishes data for metropolitan divisions. Data for the 11 large metropolitan areas that contain divisions are now available at the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or New England City and Town Area (NECTA) level only.

In addition, some smaller nonmetropolitan areas have been combined to form larger nonmetropolitan areas. The May 2018 OES estimates contain data for 134 nonmetropolitan areas, compared with 167 nonmetropolitan areas in the May 2017 estimates.

More information on these area changes is available at

Implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

The OES program plans to begin implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system with the May 2019 estimates, to be released by early April of 2020. Because each set of OES estimates is produced by combining three years of survey data, estimates for May 2019 and May 2020 will be based on a combination of survey data collected under the 2010 SOC and data collected under the 2018 SOC, and will use a hybrid of the two classification systems. The May 2021 OES estimates, to be released by early April of 2022, will be the first set of estimates based fully on the 2018 SOC. For more information, please see

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 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. OES data are available at

The OES 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. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 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 2018 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, November 2016, May 2016, and November 2015. The unweighted sample employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 58 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 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area included 3,826 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OES 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.

The May 2018 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 Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y. Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Erie and Niagara Counties.

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, Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2018
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Business and financial operations occupations

26,160 0.9 $33.89 $70,500

Buyers and purchasing agents

1,420 0.9 30.63 63,700

Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators

1,380 1.3 30.22 62,860

Insurance appraisers, auto damage

30 0.6 30.14 62,690

Compliance officers

1,920 1.7 35.82 74,500

Cost estimators

850 1.1 28.94 60,190

Human resources specialists

1,940 0.9 30.54 63,510

Labor relations specialists

480 1.6 38.92 80,940


220 0.3 34.21 71,160

Management analysts

1,880 0.7 37.88 78,790

Meeting, convention, and event planners

430 1.0 19.92 41,440


320 1.1 30.03 62,460

Compensation, benefits, and job analysis specialists

340 1.1 31.20 64,910

Training and development specialists

1,710 1.5 28.95 60,220

Market research analysts and marketing specialists

1,930 0.8 30.87 64,220

Business operations specialists, all other

1,740 0.4 33.13 68,910

Accountants and auditors

4,750 1.0 33.98 70,670

Appraisers and assessors of real estate

230 1.0 30.15 62,710

Budget analysts

80 0.4 34.44 71,630

Credit analysts

370 1.3 41.01 85,300

Financial analysts

1,070 0.9 37.44 77,870

Personal financial advisors

720 0.9 59.81 124,400

Insurance underwriters

620 1.7 44.76 93,100

Financial examiners

200 0.9 33.86 70,420

Credit counselors

110 0.8 28.00 58,240

Loan officers

800 0.7 35.93 74,740

Tax examiners and collectors, and revenue agents

270 1.3 37.47 77,950

Tax preparers

220 0.8 18.14 37,720

Financial specialists, all other

110 0.2 35.50 73,850

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY Metropolitan Statistical Area, 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.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 27, 2019