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Employment Development Department
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Occupational Wage Data Are Not a Continual Time Series (Continued)

  Designed as Point-in-Time Estimates
  The Methodology Itself Affects the Comparability of Estimates
  Procedural Changes
  Other Changes
Procedural Changes

Procedural changes in OES would also affect comparability of data over time.  In 1999, OES implemented the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) and introduced new boundaries of the wage intervals on the survey form.  New boundaries were again introduced to the survey in 2005.

When the OES survey switched from the old OES occupational classification system to the new SOC in 1999, it was not a one-to-one change.  Some OES occupations split into more than one new SOC and other were merged together.  To accommodate this change, some occupational wage estimates (where the prior occupation description was consistent with the SOC) used three years of survey data, while others (where the SOC occupation did not match to a previous OES survey description) used only one.  In 2000, all occupations were estimated with just two years of data.  In 2001, additional changes were made to the occupational classification structure, including collecting all detailed SOC occupations that were in scope.

The most relevant procedural change that affects the wage estimates is about the value of the highest wage range.  In 1999, the OES survey raised the low-end of the highest wage range from $60 to $70.  In 2005, the low-end of the highest wage range went from $70 to $80.  Since the OES program pools surveys from three years, changes like these will still affect the wage estimates for three years.

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