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News Release Information

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

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  • (646) 264-3620

Occupational Employment and Wages in Ithaca — May 2017

Workers in the Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $27.90 in May 2017, compared to the nationwide average of $24.34, 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 higher than their respective national averages in 5 of the 22 major occupational groups, including education, training, and library; community and social service; and production. Four groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including life, physical, and social science; architecture and engineering; and healthcare practitioners and technical.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 5 of the 22 occupational groups, including education, training, and library; life, physical, and social science; and building and grounds cleaning and maintenance. Conversely, nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; production; 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 Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2017
Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Ithaca United States Ithaca Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $24.34 $27.90 15


5.1 5.1 57.65 53.77 -7

Business and financial operations

5.2 4.3* 36.70 36.08 -2

Computer and mathematical

3.0 3.7 43.18 41.22 -5

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.7 41.44 38.06* -8

Life, physical, and social science

0.8 3.4* 35.76 29.86* -16

Community and social service

1.5 2.6* 23.10 26.73* 16


0.8 (2) 51.62 45.79 -11

Education, training, and library

6.1 16.4* 26.67 44.89* 68

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.4 1.9* 28.34 29.19 3

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.0 4.5* 38.83 35.88* -8

Healthcare support

2.9 2.0* 15.05 16.14 7

Protective service

2.4 1.5* 22.69 24.92 10

Food preparation and serving related

9.3 9.8 11.88 12.79* 8

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

3.1 4.2* 13.91 14.67 5

Personal care and service

3.6 3.5 13.11 13.96* 6

Sales and related

10.2 7.6* 19.56 17.11* -13

Office and administrative support

15.4 14.9 18.24 19.74 8

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2) 13.87 (2) (2)

Construction and extraction

4.0 2.7* 24.01 23.26 -3

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.2* 23.02 23.94 4


6.3 3.6* 18.30 20.17* 10

Transportation and material moving

7.0 2.6* 17.82 17.24 -3

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Estimate not released
* 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—education, training, and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Ithaca had 8,220 jobs in education, training, and library, accounting for 16.4 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.1-percent share nationally. The average annual wage for this occupational group locally was $93,370, significantly above the national wage of $55,470.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the education, training, and library group included teacher assistants (720), instructional coordinators (660), and elementary school teachers, except special education (420). Among the higher paying jobs were postsecondary business and computer science teachers, with mean annual wages of $178,250 and $148,940, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were substitute teachers ($26,220) and teacher assistants ($29,550). (Detailed occupational data for education, training, and library 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 Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in many of the occupations within the education, training, and library group. For instance, instructional coordinators were employed at 11.9 times the national rate in Ithaca, and biological science teachers, postsecondary, at 11.0 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education had a location quotient of 1.0 in Ithaca, 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.

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 mail 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 Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area included 788 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 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at and information about the 2012 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 Ithaca, N.Y. Metropolitan Statistical Area is comprised of Tompkins 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, Ithaca Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2017
Occupation (1) Employment Annual
mean wages (4)
Level (2) Location quotient (3)

Education, training, and library occupations

8,220 2.7 $93,370

Business teachers, postsecondary

230 7.8 178,250

Computer science teachers, postsecondary

130 11.1 146,940

Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

110 6.1 113,350

Biological science teachers, postsecondary

190 11.0 126,200

Psychology teachers, postsecondary

100 7.7 121,670

Health specialties teachers, postsecondary

(5) (5) 132,830

Law teachers, postsecondary

(5) (5) 230,150

English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

190 7.7 94,120

Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

90 9.8 98,680

Preschool teachers, except special education

80 0.5 37,970

Kindergarten teachers, except special education

40 0.8 51,600

Elementary school teachers, except special education

420 0.9 57,790

Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education

(5) (5) 57,190

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

350 1.0 56,280

Career/technical education teachers, secondary school

30 1.3 57,870

Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school

100 1.5 56,700

Special education teachers, secondary school

100 2.1 57,340

Adult basic and secondary education and literacy teachers and instructors

(5) (5) 63,110

Self-enrichment education teachers

250 2.9 45,560

Teachers and instructors, all other, except substitute teachers

90 0.9 52,300

Substitute teachers

320 1.5 26,220


230 5.2 71,980

Library technicians

170 5.4 45,650

Instructional coordinators

660 11.9 74,550

Teacher assistants

720 1.6 29,550

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Ithaca, NY, 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.
(6) 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: Wednesday, May 30, 2018