Emsi Update: Introducing Historical Wage Data

Published on Aug 14, 2019

Updated on Nov 3, 2022

Written by Remie Verougstraete

Emsi Update: Introducing Historical Wage Data

Emsi is thrilled to announce the addition of historical wage data to our core labor market datasets! With this update, Analyst, Developer, and Talent Analyst users can now compare occupation wage data as far back as 2005. 

This new data enables users to track trends in wage growth or decline over time. Combined with the historical employment counts already included in Analyst, Developer, and Talent Analyst, this information gives a more complete look at the growth and vitality of occupations across your region.

For example, using the Occupation Table, we can pull earnings and jobs data for web developers in Seattle, WA….

 ….and then export the table to Excel where we can create a chart showing how wage changes have correlated with employment change over time.  

Now we can see that, despite job counts for web developers more than doubling in the past 10 years, nominal (not adjusted for inflation) wages have experienced only a modest increase. This suggests the ever-growing supply of web developers in Seattle has stayed ahead of or at pace with the local demand.

We could compare this to computer and information research scientists, where we see a clear increase in wages along with a slight decline in the number of jobs over the past 10 years. This suggests that the demand for computer and information research scientists is increasing in Seattle while the labor supply has not kept pace.

Though there are many variables that affect supply and demand, these historical job and wage changes are a great way to begin understanding the nuances of local job trends.


What this means for you

As the above example demonstrates, historical trends put current wage data in context and provide valuable perspective for decision makers. We’ve added this capability to deliver additional insight for:

  • Colleges and universities who want to train their students for well-paying careers. Preparing students for the workforce involves equipping them for jobs that are not only in-demand, but also offer a desirable wage. Having this data on hand can inform the programs you invest in, and give your students further insight into which careers to pursue.

  • Workforce development professionals who want to help workers train for quality, in-demand jobs. As you support job seekers, it’s important to use reliable, long-term wage data to inform programming and advising services.

  • Economic development professionals who want to attract and retain businesses that offer well-paying jobs. If you are looking to help your community thrive, digging into historical wages along with occupation growth data can help illuminate which industries and companies to prioritize.

  • Companies who want to recruit talent, or expand or relocate to regions where they can attract well-qualified professionals at the right price point. Historical trends can provide helpful context for evaluating prevailing wages and provide additional guidance for strategic location decisions.


How to access it

Higher Education:

Historical wage data is available in the “Occupation Table” and “Occupations by Location” reports in Analyst:

Economic and Workforce Developers:

Historical wage data is available in the “Occupation Table” and “Occupation Map” reports in Developer:

Private Enterprise and Staffing:

Historical wage data is available in the “Map Occupations” report in Talent Analyst:

For all reports:

During report set up, simply add the relevant data points for the years you’re interested in using the Custom Data Selection option.

Once you’ve run your report, you can always return to the custom data selection screen by clicking the Add/Remove Columns button:

Data sources and methodology

This update reflects Emsi’s practice of investing heavily in the data we deliver to our users. By integrating multiple sources and applying proprietary methodologies, we strive to enhance the reliability and usability of labor market information so it best serves our clients at the point of decision. In this case, our data engineering team spent many months working to overcome the challenges involved in creating a reliable time series from Occupational Employment Statistics wage data. This included carefully addressing each of the cautions outlined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To read more about the work that went into producing this new data, check out the overview article in our Knowledge Base or read the full methodology description

Learn more about Analyst for higher education, Talent Analyst for enterprise and staffing, and Developer for economic and workforce developers. Please fill out this form if you have any questions! We’d love to connect.