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FAQs - About the Data

What are job families?

Job families are the way CareerOneStop groups occupations. CareerOneStop's job families are the same as the 23 major occupation groups of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC). CareerOneStop excludes the military job family, because there are no available wage and occupation trend data for the occupations in this group. For more information about job families, refer to the Bureau of Labor Statistics SOC Web page.

Why does the source for some of CareerOneStop's data say the data are a few years old? Is there more recent data?

An extensive data gathering process involving high data standards ensures that data estimates are accurate, while protecting the privacy of the participants who provide the data. As a result of this process, there is a lag in time between when the data is gathered and when it is released. CareerOneStop is updated with the newest data as it is released and provides the most recent data available.

How are the employment trend data collected?

Occupations included in projections reflect the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some occupations are only included in grouped, or aggregate, categories. The national employment projections include employment in both primary and secondary jobs. However, state projections include employment in primary jobs only.

National employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 100; most state employment numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. The percent change displayed on America's Career InfoNet was calculated on the unrounded numbers. In some cases this may result in a slight difference between the employment numbers and the percent change. You can find more detailed information on the data collection at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What is the source of the wage data?

Wage data are collected by each state through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at the U.S. Department of Labor. National wage estimates are developed by BLS. State and national occupation information is classified using the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system. Wage data are updated on CareerOneStop annually. For more detailed information about the program or the survey refer to the OES webpage.

What is included and excluded in CareerOneStop’s salary and wage data?

Wage estimates include base rate, cost-of-living allowances, guaranteed pay, hazardous-duty pay, incentive pay (e.g. commissions and production bonuses), and on-call pay. Wage estimates do not include back pay, jury duty pay, overtime pay, severance pay, shift differentials, nonproduction bonuses, and tuition reimbursements.

What is the source of the education and training data?

The typical education and training level data is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Office of Employment Projections, while the typical instructional program level data is provided by the National Center for Education Statistics.

How are regional areas defined?

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA): The general concept of Metropolitan Statistical Area is one of a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities which have a high degree of economic and social integration with that nucleus. These are defined by the Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.

Metropolitan Division (MSD): Metropolitan Division is used to refer to a county or group of counties within a Metropolitan Statistical Area that has a population core of at least 2.5 million. A Metropolitan Division is most generally comparable in concept, and equivalent to, the now obsolete Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area. Metropolitan Divisions are defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget as a standard for Federal agencies in the preparation and publication of statistics relating to metropolitan areas.

New England City and Town Area (MNECTA): The New England City and Town Area is a statistical area similar to that of a Metropolitan Statistical Area, with a core area comprised of a group of New England cities and towns containing a substantial population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of social and economic integration with that core.

NECTA Division (NECTA): A city or town or group of cities and towns within a NECTA that contains a core with a population of at least 2.5 million. A NECTA Division consists of a main city or town that represents an employment center, plus adjacent cities and towns associated with the main city or town, or with other cities and towns that are in turn associated with the main city or town, through commuting ties.

Balance of State (BOS): The Balance of State area is an area of a state not included in any of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined Metropolitan Statistical Areas or other U.S. Office of Management and Budget-defined areas. For the purpose of the U.S Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Program, individual states can subdivide residual areas into smaller, state-defined Balance of State areas (e.g. BOS 1, BOS 2, etc.).

For more detailed information about the regional area definitions can be found at the Office of Management and Budget web site.