Monday, January 4, 2010

Wages, anyone?

I received a customer request this morning for wage data. Since it's among the most requested pieces of data we offer at the Employment Department, here's some info about the two ways we provide wage data...

(1) Occupational
Oregon Wage Information -- the OWI

If you're an employer trying to figure out how much to pay your workers, or if you're a worker wondering how much people like you are earning in your area, the OWI is the data source for you! It provides wage information for more than 650 occupations statewide.

Oregon's 36 counties are grouped into 15 regions, and you can get OWI data down to this regional level. We analyze the data each year to create an annual estimate. The most recent year available is 2009 -- soon we'll start working on 2010 numbers.

One other cool thing about the OWI: It shows hourly wages by "percentile" which makes it easier to figure out how much a person should earn based on his or her experience and education. For instance, if you're trying to figure out the appropriate pay for an entry-level position, we suggest using the 10th percentile. Take a look at the OWI to see what I mean about percentiles:

(2) Average Pay (by location and quarter)
Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages -- QCEW

Like the OWI, QCEW wages are based on info from Oregon employers covered by unemployment insurance. QCEW data is useful if you want to know about industry wages, a specific county, or a time period less than the annual average.

That's right -- QCEW data is available for every county in the state and for many industry sectors! Both annual and quarterly data are available. Check it out for yourself:

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