Development of Wage and Employment Estimates:

BLS draws the OES survey sample from the file of employers covered by the state's unemployment insurance (UI) system. Establishments in this universe are stratified by metropolitan area, industry code, and the establishment's employment size. The sample is designed to collect data over a three-year period with the objective of publishing wage data aggregated from the prior three years of survey data. The wage data published here is an aggregation of three years of survey data. Also published is the same survey information updated to the most current ECI.

In 1999, the OES survey began using the new Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. The new SOC system is used by all Federal statistical agencies for reporting occupational data. SOC consists of 840 detailed occupations and 23 major groups. OES uses 22 major groups excluding the Military Specific Occupation major group and the occupations found there. OES provides occupational employment and wage estimates at the major group and detailed occupation level. For more information about the SOC system, visit the BLS SOC website Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System.

BLS confidentiality requirements dictate that a minimum number of employers have reported employees in an occupation in order to be published in a given area and or industry. The estimated employment column will be blank in these instances. It will also be blank when the employment’s relative standard error is significant. Similarly, there will be no wage data in instances where the mean’s relative standard error is significant. The RSE is defined as the sampling error (SE) divided by the estimated value as computed from the sample. This statistic provides the user with a measure of the relative precision of the sample estimates. The SE may be obtained by multiplying the RSE by the sample estimate. The EDS produces RSE estimates for both occupational employment and mean wage estimates. In general, estimates involving many establishments have lower relative standard errors than estimates involving few establishments. A more detailed explanation of the relative standard error is available at the BLS web site at Technical Notes for OES Estimates.

A wage updating methodology for "updating" prior year estimates have been developed by BLS. The methodology uses over-the-year fourth quarter changes in the BLS Employer Cost Index (ECI) to adjust data for prior years. The ECI measures the national percentage change in wages by major occupational group over the previous year. The wage updating procedure assumes that each occupation's wage, as measured in the earlier years, moves according to the average movement of its occupational division and that there are no major geographic or detailed occupational differences. In New Mexico, we publish the “updated” survey data and we publish the data to the most current ECI factors.

The OES wage data for the nation and other states are available on the Internet at BLS’s OES website Occupational Employment Statistics Home Page. New Mexico’s occupational wage statistics are available at NMDWS Occupational Employment Statistics. New Mexico’s employment and wage statistics are developed using the North Carolina Estimates Delivery System.

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