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News Release Information

Saturday, July 27, 2013

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Occupational Employment and Wages For Nurses In Minnesota’s Metropolitan Area – May 2012

Three of the five metropolitan areas in Minnesota—St. Cloud, Rochester, and Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington—reported wages for registered nurses that were significantly above the national average, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Charlene Peiffer noted that wages for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses were measurably lower than the U.S. average in two metropolitan areas–St. Cloud and Duluth. Nationwide, the average (mean) annual wage for registered nurses was $67,930, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses earned $42,400. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in Minnesota, please see Technical Note.)

Table A. Average (mean) annual wages for registered nurses and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in the United States and metropolitan areas in Minnesota, May 2012
AreaRegistered NursesLicensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

United States






Mankato-North Mankato


Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington




St. Cloud


* The mean annual wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

Of the five metropolitan areas located entirely or partially in the state, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area had the largest number of registered nurses with 31,120. This was followed by Rochester which had 8,260 registered nurses. The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington area also had the largest number of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses with 8,650. (See table B.)

Table B. Employment for registered nurses and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in the United States and metropolitan areas in Minnesota May, 2012
AreaRegistered NursesLicensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

United States






Mankato-North Mankato


Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington




St. Cloud


(1) Estimate not released.

Wages for registered nurses in metropolitan areas in Minnesota

St. Cloud ($76,210), Rochester ($73,230), and the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington ($72,820) metropolitan areas all had significantly higher wages for registered nurses compared to the U.S. average of $67,930. In contrast, wages for registered nurses in one area, Mankato-North Mankato ($63,490), were significantly below the national average.

Wages for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in metropolitan areas in Minnesota

Rochester ($45,540) was the only metropolitan area in the state to have mean annual wages for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses that were significantly higher than the nationwide average of $42,400. In contrast, two areas, Duluth ($39,450) and St. Cloud ($38,720), had wages that were significantly below the U.S. average. Wages in the two remaining metropolitan areas were not measurably different from the U.S. average.

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 Minnesota Department of Employment Economic Development and the Wisconsin Departments of Workforce Development.

OES wage data for registered nurses and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses 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.

Technical Note

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 are also surveyed, but their data are not included in the national estimates. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.2 million establishments. Each year, forms are mailed to two semiannual panels of approximately 200,000 establishments in May and the other in November. May 2012 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2012, November 2011, May 2011, November 2010, May 2010, and November 2009. The overall national response rate for the six panels is 76.6 percent based on establishments and 72.9 percent based on employment. For more information about OES concepts and methodology, go to

With the release of the May 2012 estimates, OES data are based on the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system for the first time. The OES survey provides estimates of employment and hourly and annual wages for wage and salary workers in 22 major occupational groups and more than 800 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 national data for the first time. Information about the 2010 SOC is available on the BLS website at

The May 2012 OES estimates are the first to be produced using the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Metropolitan area definitions

The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Duluth, Minn.-Wis. MSA consists of Carlton and St. Louis Counties in Minnesota and Douglas County in Wisconsin.

Mankato-North Mankato, Minn. MSA consists of Blue Earth and Nicollet Counties in Minnesota.

Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis. MSA consists of Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, and Wright Counties in Minnesota; and Pierce and St. Croix Counties in Wisconsin.

Rochester, Minn. MSA consists of Dodge, Olmsted, and Wabasha Counties.

St. Cloud, Minn. MSA consists of Benton and Stearns Counties.


Last Modified Date: Saturday, July 27, 2013