Among New York’s 12 metropolitan areas, only New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island had wages significantly higher than the national average for registered nurses, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Nine areas, including New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island and Ithaca, had wages significantly higher than the national average for nursing assistants. Chief Regional Economist Martin Kohli noted that seven areas across the state had wages for registered nurses that were measurably below those for the nation, while no metropolitan area reported significantly lower wages for nursing assistants. Nationwide, the average (mean) wage for registered nurses was $33.13, and for nursing assistants, $12.51. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in New York, please see Technical Note.) Of the 12 metropolitan areas located entirely or partially in the state, the New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area had the largest numbers of registered nurses (156,370) and nursing assistants (97,840). The New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island area is made up of four metropolitan divisions. Sixty percent of the area’s registered nurses worked in the New York-White Plains-Wayne division and 15 percent worked in the Nassau-Suffolk division. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Buffalo-Niagara Falls, and Rochester were the three other metropolitan areas in New York with at least 9,000 registered nurses. Albany, Buffalo, and Rochester were also the only other areas with at least 5,000 nursing assistants.
Wages for registered nurses in metropolitan areas in New York In New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island,
The average hourly wage for registered nurses was $39.54, more than $6.00 above the U.S. average for this occupation. By contrast, wages for registered nurses in 7 of the 12 metropolitan areas in the state were significantly below the national average. Glens Falls ($23.89), Syracuse ($27.98), and Utica-Rome ($28.13) were among the lower-paying areas.
Wages for nursing assistants in metropolitan areas in New York
Nine areas had wages for nursing assistants that were significantly higher than the national average with
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island ($15.62) and Ithaca ($15.11) among the higher-paying
areas. (See chart 2.) Wages for nursing assistants in the three remaining areas were similar to the U.S.
average for this occupation.
These statistics are from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, a federal-state
cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the New York State
Department of Labor and the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The OES wage data for registered nurses and nursing assistants in the state and metropolitan areas were
compared to their respective national averages based on statistical significance testing. Only those
occupations with wages above or below the national wage after testing for significance at the 90-percent
confidence level meet the criteria.
NOTE: A value that is statistically different from another does not necessarily mean that the difference
has economic or practical significance. Statistical significance is concerned with the ability to make
confident statements about a universe based on a sample. It is entirely possible that a large difference
between two values is not significantly different statistically, while a small difference is, since both the
size and heterogeneity of the sample affect the relative error of the data being tested.
The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual mail survey measuring
occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the
United States. Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands also are surveyed, but their data are not
included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million
establishments. Forms are mailed to approximately 200,000 establishments in May and November of
each year for a 3-year period. May 2013 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels
collected in May 2013, November 2012, May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, and November 2010.
The overall national response rate for the six panels is 75.3 percent based on establishments and 71.6
percent based on employment. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to
The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary
workers in 22 major occupational groups and 821 detailed occupations for the nation, states,
metropolitan statistical areas, metropolitan divisions, and nonmetropolitan areas. In addition,
employment and wage estimates for 94 minor groups and 458 broad occupations are available in the
The May 2013 OES estimates are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system
and the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2010
SOC is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/soc and information about the 2012 NAICS is
available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/bls/naics.htm.