July 6, 2016. OES Wage Data Update Includes Updated BLS Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) Definitions

As noted in the July 1, 2016 web announcement below, the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) recently began using the 2017 wage data set provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), based on May 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) data. This data set is the first to use the 2010 BLS definitions of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), as designated by the Office of Management and Budget. As a result, some ETA-9141 prevailing wage request forms submitted prior to the NPWC's use of the new data and MSA definitions will incorrectly cite in subsection E.c.7a MSAs that have changed pursuant to the new definitions.

If an applicant's ETA-9141 Form lists a MSA that no longer exists due to the updated BLS area definitions, the NPWC will alter the text in E.c.7a to reflect the correct MSA and will include an additional note to notify the applicant that the NPWC has altered its form as a result of the update to the MSA definitions. In addition, some returning applicants seeking a prevailing wage determination (PWD) for multiple worksites will receive a different wage(s) than in prior years due to the BLS geographic area updates. For example, in prior years the areas of Somerset and Middlesex in New Jersey were included in the same MSA and thus received the same OES wage in a PWD. However, as a result of the BLS update, Somerset and Middlesex are included in separate BLS areas and PWDs issued for job opportunities in the areas will not be the same. Please direct any questions or comments regarding the effect of the BLS updates on the PWD process to the NPWC help desk via email at flc.pwd@dol.gov. The updated OES data sets may be viewed by visiting www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.