Employment and wages by occupation are compiled using results from a survey conducted by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program. The sample-based survey asks employers to provide data regarding occupational employment and wages for their establishment. Employment and wage (annual and/or hourly) estimates are calculated and summarized for the state, its metro areas and designated nonmetro areas. The 2016 employment and wages by occupation are the most recent data available.
Employment and wages by occupation generally include workers covered by the unemployment insurance program and exclude both farm and nonfarm self-employed workers, private household workers, unpaid family workers, and owners or partners of unincorporated firms. Wages do not include overtime or bonus pay. There is a standard four-month time lag to publication after the end of a calendar year. The data are based on a point-in-time survey and should not be used as a time series. Geographic coverage is limited to statewide, three metro areas and four nonmetro areas. Employment and wages by occupation can be used to analyze occupational wage rates across markets, develop staffing patterns and occupation projections, and plan for careers.
With the issuance of the 2015 data, the OES program has incorporated redefined metropolitan area delineations as designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget in 2013. For North Dakota, the Bismarck metropolitan area was affected by a delineation change with the addition of Oliver and Sioux Counties, which in turn affected the composition of North Dakota’s West Central nonmetropolitan area (all other metro and nonmetro area delineations remain unchanged). The OES program did not reconstruct older data using the new delineations due to methodology limitations resulting in a series break for the Bismarck metro and West Central nonmetro areas.