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News Release Information

Thursday, June 03, 2021

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Occupational Employment and Wages in Providence-Warwick — May 2020

Workers in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $28.32 in May 2020, about 5 percent above the nationwide average of $27.07, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner William J. Sibley noted that, after testing for statistical significance, wages in the local area were higher than their respective national averages in 15 of the 22 major occupational groups, including management, educational instruction and library, and healthcare practitioners and technical. Three groups had significantly lower wages than their respective national averages: legal; computer and mathematical; and arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media.

When compared to the nationwide distribution, Providence area employment was more highly concentrated in 6 of the 22 occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, educational instruction and library, and healthcare support. Six groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving, management, and construction and extraction. (See table A.)

Table A. Occupational employment and wages by major occupational group, United States and the Providence Metropolitan Area, and measures of statistical significance, May 2020

Major occupational group Percent of total employment Mean hourly wage
United States Providence United States Providence Percent difference (1)

Total, all occupations

100.0 100.0 $27.07 $28.32* 5


5.7 4.5* 60.81 66.35* 9

Business and financial operations

6.0 6.3 38.79 40.02* 3

Computer and mathematical

3.3 2.8* 46.53 44.35* -5

Architecture and engineering

1.8 1.8 43.41 45.37 5

Life, physical, and social science

0.9 0.7* 38.15 40.57* 6

Community and social service

1.6 2.2* 25.09 26.49 6


0.8 0.8 54.00 46.23* -14

Educational instruction and library

6.1 7.0* 28.75 33.44* 16

Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media

1.3 1.4 30.96 29.22* -6

Healthcare practitioners and technical

6.2 7.1* 41.30 45.11* 9

Healthcare support

4.6 5.4* 15.50 17.22* 11

Protective service

2.4 2.6 25.11 26.46 5

Food preparation and serving related

8.1 8.7* 13.30 14.63* 10

Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance

2.9 3.3* 15.75 17.29* 10

Personal care and service

1.9 2.0 15.68 16.80* 7

Sales and related

9.4 9.8 22.00 23.08* 5

Office and administrative support

13.3 13.2 20.38 21.75* 7

Farming, fishing, and forestry

0.3 (2) 16.02 17.92* 12

Construction and extraction

4.3 3.8* 25.93 28.06* 8

Installation, maintenance, and repair

3.9 3.5* 25.17 26.92* 7


6.1 6.3 20.08 21.10* 5

Transportation and material moving

8.7 6.6* 19.08 18.88 -1

(1) A positive percent difference measures how much the mean wage in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area is above the national mean wage, while a negative difference reflects a lower wage.
(2) Indicates a value of less than 0.05 percent.
* The mean hourly wage or percent share of employment is significantly different from the national average of all areas at the 90-percent confidence level.

One occupational group—healthcare practitioners and technical—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Providence had 37,660 jobs in healthcare practitioners and technical, accounting for 7.1 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 6.2-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $45.11, significantly above the national wage of $41.30.

Some of the larger detailed occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group included registered nurses (14,160), physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric (2,630), and pharmacy technicians (2,040). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were pediatricians, general  and phsychiatrists, with mean hourly wages of $110.16 and $109.88, respectively. (See chart 1.) At the lower end of the wage scale were pharmacy technicians ($18.53) and veterinary technologists and technicians ($18.58). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to .)

Location quotients allow us to explore the occupational make-up of a metropolitan area by comparing the composition of jobs in an area relative to the national average. (See table 1.) For example, a location quotient of 2.0 indicates that an occupation accounts for twice the share of employment in the area than it does nationally. In the Providence area, above-average concentrations of employment were found in some of the occupations within the healthcare practitioners and technical group. For instance, physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric were employed at 1.8 times the national rate in Providence.. Nurse practitioners had a location quotient of 1.0 in Providence, indicating that this particular occupation’s local and national employment shares were similar.

These statistics are from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, a federal-state cooperative program between BLS and State Workforce Agencies, in this case, the Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance and Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

Changes to the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Data

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) Name Change

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program has changed its name to Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) to better reflect the range of data available from the program. Data released on or after March 31, 2021, will reflect the new program name. Webpages, publications, and other materials associated with previous data releases will retain the Occupational Employment Statistics name.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Impact on May 2020 Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics

Due to features of the OEWS methodology, the May 2020 OEWS estimates do not fully reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The May 2020 OEWS estimates are based on survey panels collected for May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017. Because 5 of the 6 survey panels used to produce the estimates date from before the COVID-19 pandemic, only the most recent (May 2020) survey panel reflects changes in occupational proportions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The May 2020 OEWS employment estimates are benchmarked to the average of May 2020 and November 2019 employment from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Although the May 2020 QCEW data reflect the early employment effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the November 2019 QCEW employment data precede the pandemic, and therefore do not reflect its impact.

In addition, as a result of the pandemic, response rates for the November 2019 and May 2020 panels were lower in some areas. Lower response rates may negatively affect data availability and data quality. More information is available at

Implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System

With the May 2019 estimates, the OEWS program began implementing the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Because the May 2019 and May 2020 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. This is the second and final year that the hybrid occupational structure will be used. The May 2021 estimates, to be published in Spring 2022, will be the first OEWS estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 SOC. For more information on the occupational classification system used in the May 2019 and May 2020 estimates, please see and

Upcoming Changes to the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Methodology

With the May 2021 estimates, to be released in Spring 2022, the OEWS program plans to begin using a new estimation methodology. The new model-based methodology, called MB3, has advantages over the existing methodology, as described in the Monthly Labor Review article at OEWS estimates for the years 2015-2018 were recalculated using the new estimation methodology and are available as research estimates at

Technical Note

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey is a semiannual survey measuring occupational employment and wage rates for wage and salary workers in nonfarm establishments in the United States. The OEWS 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. OEWS data are available at

The OEWS 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. OEWS estimates are constructed from a sample of about 1.1 million establishments. Each year, two semiannual panels of approximately 180,000 to 185,000 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 2020 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, November 2018, May 2018, and November 2017. The unweighted sampled employment of 83 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 56 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 69 percent based on establishments and 66 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,689 establishments with a response rate of 75 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to

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.

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.

The Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area 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; Woonsocket city, RI.

For more information

Answers to frequently asked questions about the OEWS data are available at Detailed information about the OEWS program is available at

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

Table 1. Employment and wage data for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, Providence Metropolitan Area, May 2020
Occupation (1) Employment Mean wages
Level (2) Location quotient (3) Hourly Annual (4)

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

37,660 1.2 $45.11 $93,820


130 1.0 38.31 79,680

Dentists, general

340 0.9 120.18 249,970

Dietitians and nutritionists

330 1.3 30.48 63,390


(5) (5) 52.91 110,060


1,540 1.3 55.02 114,440

Physician assistants

310 0.6 63.20 131,460


60 1.8 55.58 115,610

Occupational therapists

630 1.3 44.55 92,660

Physical therapists

1,070 1.3 41.73 86,800

Radiation therapists

130 2.0 48.93 101,770

Recreational therapists

60 0.8 21.80 45,330

Respiratory therapists

430 0.9 32.05 66,660

Speech-language pathologists

540 1.0 42.16 87,700

Therapists, all other

230 5.2 36.85 76,650


320 1.2 58.98 122,690

Registered nurses

14,160 1.3 39.75 82,670

Nurse midwives

50 1.8 51.48 107,070

Nurse practitioners

790 1.0 56.87 118,290


(5) (5) 43.29 90,040


90 0.8 (7) (7)

Family medicine physicians

200 0.5 94.04 195,610

General internal medicine physicians

230 1.2 96.66 201,060

Obstetricians and gynecologists

80 1.1 113.75 236,600

Pediatricians, general

310 3.0 110.16 229,140


230 2.4 109.88 228,540

Physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric

2,630 1.8 101.63 211,390

Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

80 0.6 135.97 282,810

Dental hygienists

860 1.2 36.75 76,430

Acupuncturists and healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners, all other

280 2.0 53.50 111,290

Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians

1,160 0.9 31.64 65,800

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

180 0.9 39.58 82,330

Diagnostic medical sonographers

270 1.0 43.46 90,390

Nuclear medicine technologists

60 0.9 48.83 101,570

Radiologic technologists and technicians

940 1.2 35.64 74,130

Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

190 1.3 43.46 90,390

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

850 0.9 21.21 44,120

Dietetic technicians

70 0.7 19.01 39,540

Pharmacy technicians

2,040 1.3 18.53 38,550

Psychiatric technicians

390 1.2 20.88 43,430

Surgical technologists

310 0.8 28.00 58,240

Veterinary technologists and technicians

490 1.2 18.58 38,650

Ophthalmic medical technicians

180 0.8 21.64 45,010

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

1,630 0.6 28.42 59,100

Opticians, dispensing

210 0.8 22.12 46,020

Orthotists and prosthetists

30 1.0 38.48 80,050

Medical dosimetrists, medical records specialists, and health technologists and technicians, all other

1,120 0.9 25.07 52,150

Athletic trainers

80 0.8 (6) 59,100

Health information technologists, medical registrars, surgical assistants, and healthcare practitioners and technical workers, all other

600 2.0 29.06 60,440

(1) For a complete listing of all detailed occupations in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area, see
(2) Estimates for detailed occupations may not sum to the totals due to rounding, and because the totals may include occupations that are not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.
(3) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.
(4) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.
(5) Estimate not released.
(6) Wages for some occupations that do not generally work year-round, full time, are reported either as hourly wages or annual salaries depending on how they are typically paid.
(7) This wage is equal to or greater than $80.00 per hour or $166,400 per year.

  Chart 1. Hourly mean wages for healthcare occupations


Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 03, 2021