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News Release Information

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

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Occupational Employment and Wages for Registered Nurses and Nursing Assistants in New York’s Metropolitan Areas – May 2013

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. (See table B. The area’s other divisions, Newark-Union and Edison-New Brunswick, contain no counties in New York, and their data have not been presented in this release.) 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.

Table A. Average (mean) hourly wages for registered nurses and nursing assistants in the United States and metropolitan areas in New York, May 2013
AreaRegistered nurses Nursing assistants 

United States

$33.13 $12.51 

New York State






Buffalo-Niagara Falls

32.59 13.84*


33.37 14.27*

Glens Falls



33.59 15.11*



New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island




New York-White Plains-Wayne



33.67 14.15*






* The mean hourly wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.
Table B. Employment of registered nurses and nursing assistants in the United States and metropolitan areas in New York, May 2013
AreaRegistered nursesNursing assistants

United States


New York State






Buffalo-Niagara Falls




Glens Falls






New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island




New York-White Plains-Wayne









- Estimate not released.
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. (See chart 1. For the purpose of completeness, the chart also includes nonmetropolitan 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.

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 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 national data.

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 and information about the 2012 NAICS is available on the BLS website at

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.

Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) includes Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie Counties in New York.

Binghamton, N.Y. MSA includes Broome and Tioga Counties in New York.

Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y. MSA includes Erie and Niagara Counties in New York.

Elmira, N.Y. MSA includes Chemung County in New York.

Glens Falls, N.Y. MSA includes Warren and Washington Counties in New York.

Ithaca, N.Y. MSA includes Tompkins County in New York.

Kingston, N.Y. MSA includes Ulster County in New York.

New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. MSA

Edison-New Brunswick, N.J. Metropolitan Division (MD) includes Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Somerset Counties in New Jersey.

Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. MD includes Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York.

Newark-Union, N.J.-Pa. MD includes Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Sussex, and Union Counties in New Jersey and Pike County in Pennsylvania.

New York-White Plains-Wayne, N.Y.-N.J. MD includes Bergen, Hudson, and Passaic Counties in New Jersey; and Bronx, Kings, New York, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, and   Westchester Counties in New York. 

Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, N.Y. MSA includes Dutchess and Orange Counties in New York.

Rochester, N.Y. MSA includes Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, and Wayne Counties in New York.

Syracuse, N.Y. MSA includes Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties in New York.

Utica-Rome, N.Y. MSA includes Herkimer and Oneida Counties in New York.

Additional information

OES data are available on our regional web page at Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed technical information about the OES survey is available in our Survey Methods and Reliability Statement 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: 800-877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Wednesday, July 02, 2014