RI Department of Labor and Training

DLT Analysis: RI wages increased 2.8 percent in 2010

July 5, 2011

Wages in Rhode Island averaged $44,651 in 2010, up 2.8 percent from the 2009 annual average wage of $43,447, according to a recent analysis by the Labor Market Information Unit at the RI Department of Labor and Training. In comparison, 2010 wages in the United States averaged $46,742, up 2.6 percent over the previous year.

In Rhode Island, annual average wage gains were reported in 18 out of 20 industry sectors over the year. The Management of Companies sector reported the largest annual increase on a percentage basis, with workers earning an annual average wage of $101,240, a 9.5 percent jump over the previous year. The Finance & Insurance sector had the second largest increase on a percentage basis, growing by 8.1 percent over the year to reach an average annual wage of $73,450. Only two sectors, Construction and Agriculture, Fishing & Hunting, reported decreases in the annual average wages paid to their workers, declining 1.3 and 0.7 percent, respectively. 

In 2010, private sector wages in Rhode Island grew 2.9 percent over the year, with private sector workers earning an annual average wage of $42,530. Also in 2010, the average annual wage in the public sector increased by 2.2 percent over the year, reaching $58,283. The greatest percentage increase in government wages occurred among local government employees, whose average annual wage increased 2.7 percent over the year to reach $53,001. The average wage of federal government employees increased 2.2 percent to reach $73,950, while the average annual wage for state government employees decreased 0.2 percent to reach $59,004.

In Rhode Island, Management of Companies ($101,240) also reported the highest annual wages among the state’s industry sectors in 2010, followed by Utilities ($83,249), Finance and Insurance ($73,450), Professional & Technical Services ($63,861), Wholesale Trade ($63,199) and Information ($61,341). In 2010, the lowest annual wages were reported in Retail Trade ($27,059); Other Services ($26,602); Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting ($24,916); Arts, Entertainment & Recreation ($23,744); and Accommodation & Food Services ($16,239).

In most incidences, educational attainment correlated with earning power. The percentage of RI workers holding bachelor’s degrees was 21 percent for all industry, both private and public. The highest percentage of workers with four-year degrees was found in the Educational Service sector (62%), followed by Professional and Technical Services (50%), Management of Companies (45%), Finance & Insurance (40%), Information (32%) and Government (29%). In contrast, those employees least likely to hold four-year degrees were found in the following sectors: Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (7.2%); Retail Trade (4.3%); Transportation & Warehousing (2.7%); and Accommodation & Food Services (0.7%).



ABOUT DLT: The RI Department of Labor and Training offers employment services, educational services and economic opportunity to both individuals and employers. DLT protects Rhode Island’s workforce by enforcing labor laws, prevailing wage rates and workplace health and safety standards. The department also provides temporary income support to unemployed and temporarily disabled workers. For more information on the programs and services available to all Rhode Islanders, please call the RI Department of Labor and Training at (401) 462-8000 or visit the web site at www.dlt.ri.gov