OES Data Tool Help

This page is designed to assist users in viewing and downloading Labor Force and Unemployment Data using the data tool that allows you to customize your search.
There are three standard selections (and one optional selection) to help you narrow the criteria for your search. This page will guide you through the steps to narrow down the information to be viewed.

You must follow the selection steps in order.
  • After you make a selection, the next drop-down box will become available for you to make your next selection.
  • You will notice that the page will reload after each selection has been made and the options for the next drop-down menu will appear.
  • Once all selections have been made, options for viewing and downloading the data will become available.
This Help Page explains the process in greater detail and provides information about the selection options.

The data will be made available for the most recent time period available: the exact timeframe will be displayed on the display screen. The following data will be available on both the view and download pages:
  • Employment
  • Median Hourly Wage
  • Median Annual Wage
See below for detailed help on each of the Steps in the data tool.

Step 1: Select Geography
The Select Geography tab tab is your first key to accessing Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Data through the data tool. You must select a Geography before continuing to any of the other Steps. Once you have chosen a Geography, Step 2 will be available to you.

In this section, you can choose from the following kinds of geographic areas for Massachusetts:
  • State: Massachusetts
  • Labor Market Areas: Central city or cities and surrounding territory within commuting distance
  • Workforce Investment Areas: Geographic areas created for the purpose of administering and delivering workforce development services including employment and training-related services


Step 2: Select the Specific Geographic Area
The selection options in this tab will change based on what Geography you chose in the Step 1. If you chose ‘State’ in Step 1, ‘Massachusetts’ will automatically be selected for you.
If you have selected either Metropolitan Statistical Area or Workforce Investment Area, you may choose one or multiple Areas at a time.

Step 3: Select the Occupation
Once you have selected a Specific Geographic Area, this box will become available so you may select a Occupational Group. There are two ways that you can select an Occupation, the first being selecting the appropriate choice from the drop-down box. This box is ordered ascending by the relevant code.
If you do not know the code to the occupation you are looking for, you may enter text into the Search box and click on the Search button. After you click the button, a listing of all Occupations meeting your search criteria will be displayed for you.
Search Feature
A new page will open in the same browser window when you click on the ‘Search’ button from the data tool. When the pages open, the most relevant Occupations will be listed at the top of the list. Occupation titles and descriptions are displayed to give you more information about each Occupation. Bolded Occupations are Category names: choosing one of these Occupations will return all sub-categories that make up this occupation.

The main feature of the Search results page is the hyperlink on the related code for the displayed occupation. By clicking on the code, the page will return you to the main data tool page and place the occupation that you clicked on in the drop-down list. If the code cannot be clicked on, that means that data for that occupation does not exist for the area that you selected.

Only 20 results will be shown per page. You may browse through the pages by clicking on ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ arrows on the bottom of the page. You may refine your search using the text box at the top of the page at any time.

The Search function will be made available to you at all times throughout the page. However, if you have not selected the two area boxes, you will not be able to click on a code to select it. That feature will only be available once you have selected the Specific Geographic Area.
Viewing and Downloading Data
Options for viewing and downloading data will only be made available once you have progressed through all steps. There are three ways in which to view the data:
  • HTML: A new browser window will open and display the data. From this page, you may ‘Print’ the page to your default printer. When you close this window, you will be returned to the data tool. All your selection criteria will remain selected, so you can then choose to download the data after viewing it.
  • Microsoft Excel: If you select this option, you can choose to save the Excel file to a location on your hard drive or to simply view it in your browser (from which you can save it to your hard drive, if you choose). Formatting will be preserved when you save it in Excel.
  • Comma Separated Value (.CSV): This file can be imported to any number of spreadsheet and database programs as well as a text program (such as Notepad). The delineator is a comma. This file is data only: formatting is not preserved.


For addition information, please contact:
Research Library Information Number: 617-626-5744
E-Mail: detlmi@detma.org