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News Release Information

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Occupational Employment and Wages in Bakersfield-Delano, May 2013

Workers in the Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $20.98 in May 2013, about 6 percent below the nationwide average of $22.33, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were significantly higher than their respective national averages in 7 of the 22 major occupational groups, including protective service; architecture and engineering; and life, physical, and social science. Six groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages, including arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; management; and sales and related.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, local employment was more highly concentrated in 8 of the 22 occupational groups, including construction and extraction, transportation and material moving, and protective service. Conversely, 13 groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including office and administrative support, sales and related, and production. (See table A and box note at end of release.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2013
Major occupational groupPercent of total employmentMean hourly wage
United StatesBakersfieldUnited StatesBakersfieldPercent difference (1)

Total, all occupations




Business and financial operations


Computer and mathematical


Architecture and engineering


Life, physical, and social science


Community and social services




Education, training, and library


Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media


Healthcare practitioner and technical


Healthcare support


Protective service


Food preparation and serving related


Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance


Personal care and service


Sales and related


Office and administrative support


Farming, fishing, and forestry


Construction and extraction


Installation, maintenance, and repair




Transportation and material moving


(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in Bakersfield 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—construction and extraction—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Bakersfield-Delano had 17,680 jobs in construction and extraction, accounting for 6.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 3.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $23.16, measurably above the national wage of $21.94.

Some of the largest detailed occupations within the construction and extraction group included oil and gas roustabouts (2,760), construction laborers (2,580), and first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers (1,820). Among the higher paying jobs were oil and gas rotary drill operators and first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers, with mean hourly wages of $37.34 and $33.02, respectively. At the lower end of the wage scale were helpers of pipelayers, plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters ($13.78) and helpers of electricians ($15.62). (Detailed occupational data for construction and extraction 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 Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, above average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the construction and extraction group. For instance, oil and gas roustabouts were employed at 18.6 times the national rate in Bakersfield, and oil and gas rotary drill operators at 11.1 times the U.S. average. On the other hand, electricians had a location quotient of 1.1 in Bakersfield, 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 California Employment Development Department.


OES wage and employment data for the 22 major occupational groups in the Bakersfield metropolitan statistical area were compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those occupations with wages or employment shares above or below the national wage or share after testing for significance at the 90-percent confidence level meet the criteria.

NOTE: 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. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 sampled establishments in May and November each year for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6 percent based on employment. The sample in the Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area included 2,409 establishments with a response rate of 74 percent. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states, metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition, employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the national data. OES data by state and metropolitan/nonmetropolitan area are available from and , respectively.

The May 2013 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 .

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 Bakersfield-Delano, Calif. Metropolitan Statistical Area  includes Kern 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: 1-800-877-8339.

Table 1. Employment and wage data from the Occupational Employment Statistics survey, by occupation, Bakersfield-Delano Metropolitan Statistical Area, May 2013
Occupation (1)EmploymentMean wages
Level (2)Location quotient (3)HourlyAnnual(4)

Construction and Extraction Occupations


First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers


Brickmasons and Blockmasons




Carpet Installers


Tile and Marble Setters


Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers


Construction Laborers


Paving, Surfacing, and Tamping Equipment Operators


Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators


Drywall and Ceiling Tile Installers








Insulation Workers, Floor, Ceiling, and Wall


Painters, Construction and Maintenance




Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters


Plasterers and Stucco Masons


Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers




Sheet Metal Workers


Structural Iron and Steel Workers


Helpers--Brickmasons, Blockmasons, Stonemasons, and Tile and Marble Setters




Helpers--Pipelayers, Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters


Helpers, Construction Trades, All Other


Construction and Building Inspectors


Hazardous Materials Removal Workers


Highway Maintenance Workers


Construction and Related Workers, All Other


Derrick Operators, Oil and Gas


Rotary Drill Operators, Oil and Gas


Service Unit Operators, Oil, Gas, and Mining


Earth Drillers, Except Oil and Gas


Roustabouts, Oil and Gas


Helpers--Extraction Workers


Extraction Workers, All Other


(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in Bakersfield-Delano, CA, 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: Thursday, May 29, 2014