Thursday, June 30, 2022
Workers in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area had an average (mean) hourly wage of $29.10 in May 2021, 4 percent above the nationwide average of $28.01, 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 18 of the 22 major occupational groups, including healthcare practitioners and technical, educational instruction and library, and management. Wages in the local area for computer and mathematical and transportation and material moving occupational groups were lower than their respective national averages.
When compared to the nationwide distribution, Providence area employment was more highly concentrated in 11 of the 22 occupational groups, including food preparation and serving related, educational instruction and library, and healthcare practitioners and technical. Nine groups had employment shares significantly below their national representation, including transportation and material moving; management, and installation, maintenance, and repair. (See table A.)
|Major occupational group||Percent of total employment||Mean hourly wage|
|United States||Providence||United States||Providence||Percent difference (1)|
Total, all occupations
Business and financial operations
Computer and mathematical
Architecture and engineering
Life, physical, and social science
Community and social service
Educational instruction and library
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media
Healthcare practitioners and technical
Food preparation and serving related
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance
Personal care and service
Sales and related
Office and administrative support
Farming, fishing, and forestry
Construction and extraction
Installation, maintenance, and repair
Transportation and material moving
One occupational group—educational instruction and library—was chosen to illustrate the diversity of data available for any of the 22 major occupational categories. Providence had 36,170 jobs in educational instruction and library, accounting for 6.8 percent of local area employment, significantly higher than the 5.8-percent share nationally. The average hourly wage for this occupational group locally was $33.67, significantly above the national wage of $29.88.
Some of the larger detailed occupations within the educational instruction and library group included secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education (5,810), elementary school teachers, except special education (4,750), and teaching assistants, except postsecondary (4,560). Among the higher-paying jobs in this group were archivists and curators, with mean hourly wages of $34.42 and $34.29, respectively. (See chart 1.) At the lower end of the wage scale were preschool teachers, except special education ($17.44) and substitute teachers, short-term ($18.40). (Detailed data for the healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are presented in table 1; for a complete listing of detailed occupations go to https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_77200.htm .)
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 many of the occupations within the educational instruction and library group. For instance, instructional coordinators were employed at 1.7 times the national rate in Providence, and education teachers, postsecondary, at 1.6 times the U.S. average. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary 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 Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and the Massachusetts Department of Economic Research.
With the May 2021 estimates release, the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program has implemented a new model-based (MB3) estimation method. For more information, see the May 2021 Survey Methods and Reliability Statement at www.bls.gov/oes/methods_21.pdf and the Monthly Labor Review article at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2019/article/model-based-estimates-for-the-occupational-employment-statistics-program.htm. OEWS estimates for the years 2015-19 were recalculated using the new estimation method and are available as research estimates at www.bls.gov/oes/oes-mb3-methods.htm.
The May 2021 OEWS estimates are also the first estimates based entirely on survey data collected using the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. To improve data quality, the OEWS program aggregates some occupations to the SOC broad occupation level or as OEWS-specific combinations of 2018 SOC detailed occupations.
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 www.bls.gov/oes/tables.htm.
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 179,000 to 187,000 sampled establishments are contacted, one panel in May and the other in November. Responses are obtained by Internet or other electronic means, mail, email, telephone, or personal visit. The May 2021 estimates are based on responses from six semiannual panels collected over a 3-year period: May 2021, November 2020, May 2020, November 2019, May 2019, and November 2018. The unweighted sampled employment of 82 million across all six semiannual panels represents approximately 62 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 67.2 percent based on establishments and 64.5 percent based on weighted sampled employment. The sample in the Providence-Warwick, RI-MA Metropolitan Statistical Area included 4,700 establishments with a response rate of 74 percent. For more information about OEWS concepts and methodology, go to www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tec.htm.
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; Bellingham town, MA; Blackstone town, MA; Fall River city, MA; Millville town, MA; North Attleborough town, MA; Plainville town, MA; Rehoboth town, MA; Seekonk town, MA; Somerset town, MA; Swansea town, MA; Westport town, MA; Barrington town, RI; 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; Foster town, RI; Glocester town, RI; Jamestown town, RI; Johnston town, RI; Lincoln town, RI; Little Compton town, RI; Middletown town, RI; Narragansett town, RI; Newport city, RI; North Kingstown town, RI; North Providence town, RI; North Smithfield town, RI; Pawtucket city, RI; Portsmouth town, RI; Providence city, RI; Richmond town, RI; Scituate town, RI; Smithfield town, RI; South Kingstown town, RI; Tiverton town, RI; Warren town, RI; Warwick city, RI; West Greenwich town, RI; West Warwick town, RI; and Woonsocket city, RI.
For more information
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
|Occupation (1)||Employment||Mean wages|
|Level (2)||Location quotient (3)||Hourly||Annual (4)|
Educational instruction and library occupations
Business teachers, postsecondary
Computer science teachers, postsecondary
Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary
Architecture teachers, postsecondary
Engineering teachers, postsecondary
Biological science teachers, postsecondary
Chemistry teachers, postsecondary
Economics teachers, postsecondary
Political science teachers, postsecondary
Psychology teachers, postsecondary
Social sciences teachers, postsecondary, all other
Health specialties teachers, postsecondary
Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary
Education teachers, postsecondary
Library science teachers, postsecondary
Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary
Social work teachers, postsecondary
Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary
Communications teachers, postsecondary
English language and literature teachers, postsecondary
Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary
History teachers, postsecondary
Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary
Career/technical education teachers, postsecondary
Postsecondary teachers, all other
Preschool teachers, except special education
Kindergarten teachers, except special education
Elementary school teachers, except special education
Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education
Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education
Career/technical education teachers, secondary school
Special education teachers, kindergarten and elementary school
Special education teachers, middle school
Special education teachers, secondary school
Special education teachers, all other
Adult basic education, adult secondary education, and english as a second language instructors
Substitute teachers, short-term
Teachers and instructors, all other
Museum technicians and conservators
Librarians and media collections specialists
Teaching assistants, postsecondary
Teaching assistants, except postsecondary
Educational instruction and library workers, all other
Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 30, 2022