Did I Cherry Pick the Nurse Income Information?

A few people have reached out to me directly and said I cherry picked data. I did consider the possibility that I unintentionally cherry picked data, so I looked into 2016 to 2019. Admittedly, I did not check the more recent years before posting because the projections of the Obama Administration were sufficient validation for me. For the sake of intellectual honesty, I can unpack the data. I like to use the BLS as a good source of unbiased data to see the actual wages. Here is the data on the nominal wages from recent years for nurses. I am really only concerned about RN’s which is the first row, and I will touch on the LPN’s briefly.

BLS Link
BLS Link
BLS Link
BLS Link

Time for the math, the median hourly wage for an RN in May 2016 is $32.91 and in May 2019 it was $35.24. That is 4 years of NOMINAL wage growth. Count the number of screenshots with the wages if you do not believe me (a lot of people think it is only 3 years because 2019–2016=3, but it is 4). That is a cumulative 7.08% wage growth in 4 years or 1.77% wage growth annually. It is worthwhile noting that the LPN wage has had marginally more malleability, with the median nominal hourly wage increasing 1.9% annually between 2016 and 2019.

EPI Wage Tracker Link
Trading Economics Link

Above is the data on nominal wage growth in that same time period for the general workforce. In the same time period, the general wages of all private employees went from $25.36 to $27.58. That is a cumulative wage growth of 9.82% in 4 years, or an annual wage growth just under 2.5%. So the registered nurses wage growth has actually been lower than the general rate of wage growth. Considering real wages, we have to check the CPI. It was at about 239 in 2016 and about 256 in 2019. That is a 7.11% cumulative change in CPI. The CPI increase slightly exceeds RN median hourly wage growth in those same 4 years, but does not exceed the general wage growth. In fact, in the 4 year period discussed, not only were the wages stagnant for RN’s, but they actually declined by a trivial amount.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store