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News Release Information

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

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Occupational Employment and Wages for Selected Nursing Occupations in Massachusetts’ Metropolitan Areas - May 2019

The eight metropolitan areas located either entirely or partially in Massachusetts had annual wages that were significantly above the national average for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses. Six areas had above-average wages for nursing assistants. Six areas had above-average wages for registered nurses and five areas had above-average wages for nurse practitioners the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that the Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH, and Providence-Warwick, RI-MA, metropolitan areas had above-average wages for all four of the selected nursing occupations. Nationwide, the average (mean) wage for registered nurses was $77,460; for nursing assistants, $30,720; for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, $48,500; and for nurse practitioners, $111,840. (See table A. For comprehensive definitions of metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, please see Technical Note.)

Table A. Average (mean) annual wages for selected nursing occupations in the United States, Massachusetts, and metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, May 2019
AreaRegistered nursesNursing assistantsLicensed practical and licensed vocational nursesNurse practitioners

United States




Barnstable Town






New Bedford










(1) Data not available.

Note: An asterisk indicates that the mean annual wage for this area is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

The Boston-Cambridge-Nashua area had a combined employment of 100,440 for the four selected nursing occupations. The Providence-Warwick metropolitan area had a combined employment of 28,320 for the selected occupations. The Worcester metropolitan area had a combined employment of 14,270 and the Springfield area had a combined employment of 13,280 for the selected occupations.  Employment for the four nursing occupations was less than 5,200 in each of the remaining metropolitan areas for which data were available. (See table B.)

Table B. Employment of selected nursing occupations in the United States, Massachusetts, and metropolitan areas in Massachusetts, May 2019
AreaRegistered nursesNursing assistantsLicensed practical and licensed vocational nursesNurse practitioners

United States




Barnstable Town






New Bedford










(1) Data not available.


Wages for registered nurses in metropolitan areas in Massachusetts

Registered nurses in Boston-Cambridge-Nashua ($96,510), Leominster-Gardner ($88,390), and Barnstable Town ($86,970) earned annual average wages that were significantly above the $77,460 national average for this occupation. Three other metropolitan areas also had wages significantly above the national average: Worcester ($82,960), Springfield ($82,650), and Providence-Warwick ($82,170).

Wages for nursing assistants in metropolitan areas in Massachusetts

Six metropolitan areas had annual average wages for nursing assistants that were significantly higher than the $30,720 national average, with Boston-Cambridge-Nashua ($36,240), Barnstable Town ($35,180), and Pittsfield ($34,940) among the higher-paying areas.

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

All eight metropolitan areas had annual average wages for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses that were significantly higher than the $48,500 national average. Among the higher-paying areas were Boston-Cambridge-Nashua ($62,620), Barnstable Town, and New Bedford ($57,870 each).

Wages for nurse practitioners in metropolitan areas in Massachusetts

Nurse practitioners in New Bedford ($144,450) and Leominster-Gardner ($127,880) earned annual average wages that were significantly above the $111,840 national average for this occupation. Three other metropolitan areas also had wages significantly above the national average: Boston-Cambridge-Nashua ($123,690), Worcester ($119,820), and Providence-Warwick ($116,130). Barnstable Town ($104,700) had an annual average wage for nurse practitioners that was significantly below the national 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 Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance, the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

With the May 2019 estimates, the OES program has begun implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Each set of OES estimates is calculated from six panels of survey data collected over three years. Because the May 2019 estimates are based on a combination of survey data collected using the 2010 SOC and survey data collected using the 2018 SOC, these estimates use a hybrid of the two classification systems that contains some combinations of occupations that are not found in either the 2010 or 2018 SOC. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OES estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC.


In addition, the OES program has replaced some 2018 SOC detailed occupations with SOC broad occupations or OES-specific aggregations. These include home health aides and personal care aides, for which OES will publish only the 2018 SOC broad occupation 31-1120 Home Health and Personal Care Aides. For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 OES estimates, please see and


The May 2019 OES estimates use the metropolitan area definitions delineated in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Bulletin 17-01, which add a new Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for Twin Falls, Idaho. For more information on the area definitions used in the May 2019 estimates, please see

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OES data available from BLS include cross-industry occupational employment and wage estimates for the nation; over 580 areas, including states and the District of Columbia, metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), nonmetropolitan areas, and territories; national industry-specific estimates at the NAICS sector, 3-digit, most 4-digit, and selected 5- and 6-digit industry levels, and national estimates by ownership across all industries and for schools and hospitals. OES data are available at

The OES survey is a cooperative effort between BLS and the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs). BLS funds the survey and provides the procedures and technical support, while the State Workforce Agencies collect most of the data. OES estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 200,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by mail, Internet or other electronic means, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2019 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, November 2017, May 2017, and November 2016. The unweighted sampled employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 57 percent of total national employment. The overall national response rate for the six panels, based on the 50 states and the District of Columbia, is 71 percent based on establishments and 68 percent based on weighted sampled employment.

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 May 2019 OES estimates are the first set of OES estimates to be based in part on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. These estimates use a hybrid of the 2010 and 2018 SOC systems. More information on the hybrid classification system is available at

The May 2019 OES estimates are based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). More information about the 2017 NAICS is available at


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.

Barnstable Town, MA New England City and Town Area (NECTA) includes Barnstable city, Bourne town, Brewster town, Chatham town, Dennis town, Eastham town, Falmouth town, Harwich town, Marion town, Mashpee town, Orleans town, Sandwich town, Wareham town, Wellfleet town, and Yarmouth town.

Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH NECTA includes Abington town, MA; Acton town, MA; Amesbury town, MA; Amherst town, NH; Andover town, MA; Arlington town, MA; Ashby town, MA; Ashland town, MA; Atkinson town, NH; Avon town, MA; Ayer town, MA; Bedford town, MA; Belmont town, MA; Berkley town, MA; Berlin town, MA; Beverly city, MA; Billerica town, MA; Bolton town, MA; Boston city, MA; Boxborough town, MA; Boxford town, MA; Braintree town, MA; Bridgewater town, MA; Brockton city, MA; Brookline town, MA; Brookline town, NH; Burlington town, MA; Cambridge city, MA; Canton town, MA; Carlisle town, MA; Carver town, MA; Chelmsford town, MA; Chelsea city, MA; Chester town, NH; Cohasset town, MA; Concord town, MA; Danvers town, MA; Danville town, NH; Dedham town, MA; Derry town, NH; Dighton town, MA; Dover town, MA; Dracut town, MA; Dunstable town, MA; Duxbury town, MA; East Bridgewater town, MA; East Kingston town, NH; Easton town, MA; Essex town, MA; Everett city, MA; Foxborough town, MA; Framingham town, MA; Franklin city, MA; Freetown town, MA; Fremont town, NH; Georgetown town, MA; Gloucester city, MA; Greenfield town, NH; Greenville town, NH; Groton town, MA; Groveland town, MA; Halifax town, MA; Hamilton town, MA; Hampstead town, NH; Hampton Falls town, NH; Hanover town, MA; Hanson town, MA; Harvard town, MA; Haverhill city, MA; Hingham town, MA; Holbrook town, MA; Hollis town, NH; Holliston town, MA; Hopedale town, MA; Hopkinton town, MA; Hudson town, MA; Hudson town, NH; Hull town, MA; Ipswich town, MA; Kensington town, NH; Kingston town, MA; Kingston town, NH; Lakeville town, MA; Lawrence city, MA; Lexington town, MA; Lincoln town, MA; Litchfield town, NH; Littleton town, MA; Londonderry town, NH; Lowell city, MA; Lyndeboro town, NH; Lynn city, MA; Lynnfield town, MA; Malden city, MA; Manchester by the Sea town, MA; Mansfield town, MA; Marblehead town, MA; Marlborough city, MA; Marshfield town, MA; Mason town, NH; Maynard town, MA; Medfield town, MA; Medford city, MA; Medway town, MA; Melrose city, MA; Mendon town, MA; Merrimac town, MA; Merrimack town, NH; Methuen city, MA; Middleborough town, MA; Middleton town, MA; Milford town, MA; Milford town, NH; Millis town, MA; Milton town, MA; Mont Vernon town, NH; Nahant town, MA; Nashua city, NH; Natick town, MA; Needham town, MA; Newbury town, MA; Newburyport city, MA; Newton city, MA; Newton town, NH; Norfolk town, MA; North Andover town, MA; North Reading town, MA; Norton town, MA; Norwell town, MA; Norwood town, MA; Peabody city, MA; Pelham town, NH; Pembroke town, MA; Pepperell town, MA; Plaistow town, NH; Plymouth town, MA; Plympton town, MA; Quincy city, MA; Randolph town, MA; Raynham town, MA; Reading town, MA; Revere city, MA; Rochester town, MA; Rockland town, MA; Rockport town, MA; Rowley town, MA; Salem city, MA; Salem town, NH; Salisbury town, MA; Sandown town, NH; Saugus town, MA; Scituate town, MA; Seabrook town, NH; Sharon town, MA; Sherborn town, MA; Shirley town, MA; Somerville city, MA; South Hampton town, NH; Southborough town, MA; Stoneham town, MA; Stoughton town, MA; Stow town, MA; Sudbury town, MA; Swampscott town, MA; Taunton city, MA; Temple town, NH; Tewksbury town, MA; Topsfield town, MA; Townsend town, MA; Tyngsborough town, MA; Wakefield town, MA; Walpole town, MA; Waltham city, MA; Watertown city, MA; Wayland town, MA; Wellesley town, MA; Wenham town, MA; West Bridgewater town, MA; West Newbury town, MA; Westford town, MA; Weston town, MA; Westwood town, MA; Weymouth town, MA; Whitman town, MA; Wilmington town, MA; Wilton town, NH; Winchester town, MA; Windham town, NH; Winthrop town, MA; Woburn city, MA; and Wrentham town, MA

Leominster-Gardner, MA includes Ashburnham town, Fitchburg city, Gardner city, Leominster city, Lunenburg town, Phillipston town, Royalston town, Templeton town, Westminster town, and Winchendon town.

New Bedford, MA includes Acushnet town, Dartmouth town, Fairhaven town, Mattapoisett town, and New Bedford city.

Pittsfield, MA includes Adams town, Becket town, Cheshire town, Dalton town, Hinsdale town, Lanesborough town, Lee town, Lenox town, Middlefield town, New Ashford town, Peru town, Pittsfield city, Richmond town, Savoy town, Washington town, and Windsor town.

Providence-Warwick, RI-MA includes Attleboro city, MA; Barrington town, RI; Bellingham town, MA; Blackstone town, MA; Bristol town, RI; Burrillville town, RI; Central Falls city, RI; Charlestown town, RI; Coventry town, RI; Cranston city, RI; Cumberland town, RI; East Greenwich town, RI; East Providence city, RI; Exeter town, RI; Fall River city, MA; Foster town, RI; Glocester town, RI; Jamestown town, RI; Johnston town, RI; Lincoln town, RI; Little Compton town, RI; Middletown town, RI; Millville town, MA; Narragansett town, RI; Newport city, RI; North Attleborough town, MA; North Kingstown town, RI; North Providence town, RI; North Smithfield town, RI; Pawtucket city, RI; Plainville town, MA; Portsmouth town, RI; Providence city, RI; Rehoboth town, MA; Richmond town, RI; Scituate town, RI; Seekonk town, MA; Smithfield town, RI; Somerset town, MA; South Kingstown town, RI; Swansea town, MA; Tiverton town, RI; Warren town, RI; Warwick city, RI; West Greenwich town, RI; West Warwick town, RI; Westport town, MA; and Woonsocket city, RI.

Springfield, MA-CT includes Agawam city, MA; Amherst town, MA; Ashfield town, MA; Belchertown town, MA; Blandford town, MA; Chester town, MA; Chesterfield town, MA; Chicopee city, MA; Conway town, MA; Cummington town, MA; Deerfield town, MA; East Longmeadow town, MA; East Windsor town, CT; Easthampton town, MA; Enfield town, CT; Goshen town, MA; Granby town, MA; Granville town, MA; Hadley town, MA; Hampden town, MA; Hatfield town, MA; Holyoke city, MA; Huntington town, MA; Leverett town, MA; Longmeadow town, MA; Ludlow town, MA; Monson town, MA; Montgomery town, MA; Northampton city, MA; Palmer town, MA; Pelham town, MA; Russell town, MA; Shutesbury town, MA; Somers town, CT; South Hadley town, MA; Southampton town, MA; Southwick town, MA; Springfield city, MA; Suffield town, CT; Sunderland town, MA; Tolland town, MA; Wales town, MA; Ware town, MA; Wendell town, MA; West Springfield town, MA; Westfield city, MA; Westhampton town, MA; Whately town, MA; Wilbraham town, MA; Williamsburg town, MA; Windsor Locks town, CT; and Worthington town, MA.

Worcester, MA-CT includes Auburn town, MA; Barre town, MA; Boylston town, MA; Brimfield town, MA; Brookfield town, MA; Brooklyn town, CT; Charlton town, MA; Clinton town, MA; Douglas town, MA; Dudley town, MA; East Brookfield town, MA; Grafton town, MA; Holden town, MA; Holland town, MA; Hubbardston town, MA; Killingly town, CT; Lancaster town, MA; Leicester town, MA; Millbury town, MA; New Braintree town, MA; North Brookfield town, MA; Northborough town, MA; Northbridge town, MA; Oakham town, MA; Oxford town, MA; Paxton town, MA; Plainfield town, CT; Pomfret town, CT; Princeton town, MA; Putnam town, CT; Rutland town, MA; Shrewsbury town, MA; Southbridge town, MA; Spencer town, MA; Sterling town, CT; Sterling town, MA; Sturbridge town, MA; Sutton town, MA; Thompson town, CT; Upton town, MA; Uxbridge town, MA; Warren town, MA; Webster town, MA; West Boylston town, MA; West Brookfield town, MA; Westborough town, MA; Woodstock town, CT; and Worcester city, MA.  

Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area includes Alford town, Athol town, Bernardston town, Buckland town, Charlemont town, Chilmark town, Clarksburg town, Colrain town, Edgartown town, Egremont town, Erving town, Florida town, Gay Head town, Gill town, Gosnold town, Great Barrington town, Greenfield town, Hancock town, Hardwick town, Hawley town, Heath town, Leyden town, Monroe town, Montague town, Monterey town, Mount Washington town, Nantucket town, New Marlborough town, New Salem town, North Adams city, Northfield town, Oak Bluffs town, Orange town, Otis town, Petersham town, Plainfield town, Provincetown town, Rowe town, Sandisfield town, Sheffield town, Shelburne town, Stockbridge town, Tisbury town, Truro town, Tyringham town, Warwick town, West Stockbridge town, West Tisbury town, and Williamstown town.

Additional information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OES data are available at Detailed information about the OES program is available 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 22, 2020