Economic News Release

Real Earnings News Release


 Internet Address: http://www.bls.gov/ces/
 Technical information: (202) 691-6555     USDL 09-0389
 Media contact:               691-5902
 
                                           TRANSMISSION OF MATERIAL
                                           IN THIS RELEASE IS EMBARGOED
                                           UNTIL 8:30 AM EDT, WEDNESDAY,
                                           APRIL 15, 2009
  
                          REAL EARNINGS IN MARCH 2009
 
     Real average weekly earnings were about unchanged from February to March after 
seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of 
Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.  A 0.3 percent decrease in 
average weekly hours was offset by a 0.2 percent increase in average hourly 
earnings and a 0.1 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage 
Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). 
  
     Data on average weekly earnings are collected from the payroll reports of 
private nonfarm establishments.  Earnings of both full-time and part-time workers 
holding production or nonsupervisory jobs are included.  Real average weekly 
earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings in current dollars for changes in the 
CPI-W.

     Average weekly earnings rose by 1.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, from March 
2008 to March 2009.  After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings 
increased by 2.6 percent.  Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, 
average weekly earnings were $616.19 in March 2009, compared with $607.39 a year 
earlier.
                     _____________________________

     Real Earnings for April 2009 will be released on Friday, May 15, 2009.




Table A.  Composition of change in real earnings of production and
nonsupervisory workers(1) on private nonfarm payrolls
________________________________________________________________________
            |           |           |           |           |
            |  Average  |  Average  |  Average  |    The    |    Real
            |   hourly  |   weekly  |   weekly  |  Consumer |  average
   Year     |  earnings |   hours   |  earnings |   Price   |   weekly
    and     |           |           |           |  Index(2) |  earnings
   month    |___________|___________|___________|___________|___________
            |
            |  Percent change from preceding month, seasonally adjusted
____________|___________________________________________________________
            |           |           |           |           |
2008:       |           |           |           |           |
    Mar.    |     0.4   |     0.0   |     0.4   |     0.4   |     0.0
    Apr.    |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .1   |      .1
    May     |      .3   |     -.3   |     (3)   |      .5   |     -.5
    June    |      .3   |     -.3   |     (3)   |     1.1   |    -1.1
    July    |      .3   |      .0   |      .3   |      .8   |     -.5
    Aug.    |      .4   |      .3   |      .7   |      .0   |      .8
    Sept.   |      .2   |     -.3   |     -.1   |      .0   |     -.2
    Oct.    |      .4   |     -.3   |      .1   |    -1.0   |     1.1
    Nov.    |      .3   |     -.3   |     (3)   |    -2.1   |     2.2
    Dec.    |      .3   |     -.3   |     (3)   |    -1.0   |     1.0
2009:       |           |           |           |           |
    Jan.    |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .3   |     -.2
    Feb.(p) |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .4   |     -.2
    Mar.(p) |      .2   |     -.3   |     -.1   |     -.1   |     (3)
____________|___________|___________|___________|___________|___________

  1 See footnote 2, table 1.
  2 The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this 
release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical 
Workers (CPI-W).
  3 Change less than 0.05 percent in magnitude.
  p = preliminary.


Table B.  Percent change in earnings from the same month a year ago for
production and nonsupervisory workers(1) on private nonfarm payrolls,
seasonally adjusted
_________________________________________________________________________
             |                             |
             |       Average hourly        |       Average weekly
             |          earnings           |          earnings
    Year     |_____________________________|_____________________________
     and     |              |              |              |
    month    |    Current   |   Constant   |    Current   |   Constant
             |    dollars   |    (1982)    |    dollars   |    (1982)
             |              |   dollars(2) |              |   dollars(2)
_____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
             |              |              |              |
2008:        |              |              |              |
    Mar.     |      3.9     |     -0.5     |      3.6     |     -0.7
    Apr.     |      3.8     |      -.4     |      3.8     |      -.4
    May      |      3.7     |      -.5     |      3.1     |     -1.1
    June     |      3.6     |     -1.7     |      2.6     |     -2.5
    July     |      3.5     |     -2.4     |      2.9     |     -2.9
    Aug.     |      3.8     |     -1.9     |      3.5     |     -2.2
    Sept.    |      3.6     |     -1.7     |      3.0     |     -2.3
    Oct.     |      3.9     |      -.1     |      2.9     |      -.9
    Nov.     |      3.9     |      3.3     |      2.6     |      2.0
    Dec.     |      3.9     |      4.6     |      2.4     |      3.1
2009:        |              |              |              |
    Jan.     |      3.7     |      4.5     |      2.5     |      3.2
    Feb.(p)  |      3.6     |      4.1     |      2.1     |      2.5
    Mar.(p)  |      3.4     |      4.3     |      1.5     |      2.6
_____________|______________|______________|______________|______________

  1 See footnote 2, table 1.
  2 The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this 
release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical 
Workers (CPI-W).
  p = preliminary.




Table 1.  Earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private
nonfarm payrolls in current and constant dollars(1) by industry and
selected industry detail, not seasonally adjusted
_______________________________________________________________________________
                             |
                             |             Average hourly earnings
                             |_________________________________________________
                             |           |           |           |
          Industry           |           |           |           |   Percent
                             |    Mar.   |   Feb.    |   Mar.    |   change:
                             |    2008   |   2009p   |   2009p   |  Mar. 2008-
                             |           |           |           |  Mar. 2009
_____________________________|___________|___________|___________|_____________
                             |           |           |           |
Total private:(2)            |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|  $17.97   |  $18.57   |  $18.56   |     3.3
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.33   |    8.71   |    8.68   |     4.2
                             |           |           |           |
Goods-producing:             |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   19.06   |   19.64   |   19.72   |     3.5
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.83   |    9.21   |    9.22   |     4.4
                             |           |           |           |
Mining and logging:          |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   22.29   |   23.20   |   23.28   |     4.4
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   10.33   |   10.88   |   10.89   |     5.4
                             |           |           |           |
Construction:                |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   21.44   |   22.26   |   22.48   |     4.9
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    9.93   |   10.43   |   10.51   |     5.8
                             |           |           |           |
Manufacturing:               |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   17.62   |   18.07   |   18.07   |     2.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.16   |    8.47   |    8.45   |     3.6
                             |           |           |           |
Private service-providing:   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   17.70   |   18.33   |   18.31   |     3.4
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.20   |    8.59   |    8.56   |     4.4
                             |           |           |           |
Trade, transportation, and   |           |           |           |
 utilities:                  |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   16.14   |   16.47   |   16.43   |     1.8
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    7.48   |    7.72   |    7.68   |     2.7
                             |           |           |           |
  Wholesale trade:           |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   20.08   |   20.64   |   20.63   |     2.7
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    9.30   |    9.68   |    9.65   |     3.8
                             |           |           |           |
  Retail trade:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   12.88   |   12.98   |   13.02   |     1.1
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    5.97   |    6.08   |    6.09   |     2.0
                             |           |           |           |
  Transportation and         |           |           |           |
   warehousing:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   18.20   |   18.77   |   18.62   |     2.3
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.43   |    8.80   |    8.71   |     3.3
                             |           |           |           |
  Utilities:                 |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   28.90   |   29.68   |   29.38   |     1.7
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   13.39   |   13.91   |   13.74   |     2.6
                             |           |           |           |
Information:                 |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   24.62   |   25.11   |   25.26   |     2.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   11.41   |   11.77   |   11.81   |     3.5
                             |           |           |           |
Financial activities:        |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   20.17   |   20.67   |   20.69   |     2.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    9.34   |    9.69   |    9.68   |     3.6
                             |           |           |           |
Professional and business    |           |           |           |
 services:                   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   21.00   |   22.52   |   22.56   |     7.4
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    9.73   |   10.56   |   10.55   |     8.4
                             |           |           |           |
Education and health         |           |           |           |
 services:                   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   18.74   |   19.25   |   19.22   |     2.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    8.68   |    9.02   |    8.99   |     3.6
                             |           |           |           |
Leisure and hospitality:     |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   10.77   |   11.07   |   10.99   |     2.0
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    4.99   |    5.19   |    5.14   |     3.0
                             |           |           |           |
Other services:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   16.11   |   16.33   |   16.37   |     1.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|    7.46   |    7.66   |    7.66   |     2.7
_____________________________|___________|___________|___________|_____________

See footnotes at end of table.





Table 1.  Earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers on private
nonfarm payrolls in current and constant dollars(1) by industry and
selected industry detail, not seasonally adjusted - Continued
_______________________________________________________________________________
                             |
                             |             Average weekly earnings
                             |_________________________________________________
                             |           |           |           |
          Industry           |           |           |           |   Percent
                             |    Mar.   |   Feb.    |   Mar.    |   change:
                             |    2008   |   2009p   |   2009p   |  Mar. 2008-
                             |           |           |           |  Mar. 2009
_____________________________|___________|___________|___________|_____________
                             |           |           |           |
Total private:(2)            |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|  $607.39  |  $616.52  |  $616.19  |     1.4
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   281.41  |   289.01  |   288.15  |     2.4
                             |           |           |           |
Goods-producing:             |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   770.02  |   758.10  |   763.16  |     -.9
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   356.76  |   355.38  |   356.87  |      .0
                             |           |           |           |
Mining and logging:          |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|  1018.65  |  1006.88  |   991.73  |    -2.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   471.95  |   472.00  |   463.76  |    -1.7
                             |           |           |           |
Construction:                |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   825.44  |   823.62  |   838.50  |     1.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   382.43  |   386.09  |   392.10  |     2.5
                             |           |           |           |
Manufacturing:               |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   724.18  |   708.34  |   708.34  |    -2.2
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   335.52  |   332.05  |   331.24  |    -1.3
                             |           |           |           |
Private service-providing:   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   575.25  |   592.06  |   589.58  |     2.5
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   266.52  |   277.54  |   275.70  |     3.4
                             |           |           |           |
Trade, transportation, and   |           |           |           |
 utilities:                  |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   537.46  |   538.57  |   538.90  |      .3
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   249.01  |   252.47  |   252.00  |     1.2
                             |           |           |           |
  Wholesale trade:           |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   775.09  |   786.38  |   779.81  |      .6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   359.11  |   368.64  |   364.66  |     1.5
                             |           |           |           |
  Retail trade:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   386.40  |   384.21  |   385.39  |     -.3
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   179.02  |   180.11  |   180.22  |      .7
                             |           |           |           |
  Transportation and         |           |           |           |
   warehousing:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   667.94  |   664.46  |   672.18  |      .6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   309.46  |   311.48  |   314.33  |     1.6
                             |           |           |           |
  Utilities:                 |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|  1242.70  |  1282.18  |  1233.96  |     -.7
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   575.76  |   601.06  |   577.03  |      .2
                             |           |           |           |
Information:                 |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   903.55  |   931.58  |   932.09  |     3.2
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   418.62  |   436.70  |   435.87  |     4.1
                             |           |           |           |
Financial activities:        |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   730.15  |   760.66  |   755.19  |     3.4
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   338.29  |   356.58  |   353.15  |     4.4
                             |           |           |           |
Professional and business    |           |           |           |
 services:                   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   737.10  |   785.95  |   787.34  |     6.8
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   341.51  |   368.44  |   368.18  |     7.8
                             |           |           |           |
Education and health         |           |           |           |
 services:                   |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   612.80  |   625.63  |   622.73  |     1.6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   283.92  |   293.28  |   291.20  |     2.6
                             |           |           |           |
Leisure and hospitality:     |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   272.48  |   276.75  |   272.55  |      .0
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   126.24  |   129.73  |   127.45  |     1.0
                             |           |           |           |
Other services:              |           |           |           |
    Current dollars..........|   497.80  |   501.33  |   500.92  |      .6
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   230.64  |   235.01  |   234.24  |     1.6
_____________________________|___________|___________|___________|_____________

  1 The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this
release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Earners and
Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
  2 Data relate to production workers in mining and logging and
manufacturing, construction workers in construction, and
nonsupervisory workers in the service-providing industries.
These groups account for approximately four-fifths of the
total employment on private nonfarm payrolls.
  p = preliminary.





Table 2.  Earnings of production and nonsupervisory workers(1) on private
nonfarm payrolls, seasonally adjusted
_________________________________________________________________________
             |                             |
             |                             |
             |       Average hourly        |       Average weekly
             |          earnings           |          earnings
             |                             |
    Year     |_____________________________|_____________________________
     and     |              |              |              |
    month    |              |              |              |
             |    Current   |   Constant   |    Current   |   Constant
             |    dollars   |    (1982)    |    dollars   |    (1982)
             |              |   dollars(2) |              |   dollars(2)
             |              |              |              |
_____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
             |              |              |              |
2008:        |              |              |              |
    Mar.     |    $17.90    |    $8.28     |    $605.02   |   $279.82
    Apr.     |     17.94    |     8.29     |     606.37   |    280.03
    May      |     17.99    |     8.27     |     606.26   |    278.56
    June     |     18.04    |     8.20     |     606.14   |    275.59
    July     |     18.10    |     8.16     |     608.16   |    274.31
    Aug.     |     18.18    |     8.20     |     612.67   |    276.47
    Sept.    |     18.21    |     8.21     |     611.86   |    275.99
    Oct.     |     18.28    |     8.33     |     612.38   |    279.11
    Nov.     |     18.34    |     8.54     |     612.56   |    285.23
    Dec.     |     18.40    |     8.65     |     612.72   |    288.12
2009:        |              |              |              |
    Jan.     |     18.43    |     8.64     |     613.72   |    287.60
    Feb.(p)  |     18.47    |     8.62     |     615.05   |    286.95
    Mar.(p)  |     18.50    |     8.64     |     614.20   |    286.96
_____________|______________|______________|______________|______________

  1 See footnote 2, table 1.
  2 The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this 
release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical 
Workers (CPI-W).
  p = preliminary.




Explanatory Note


	The earnings series presented in this release 
are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 
Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a 
monthly establishment survey of employment, payroll, 
and hours.  The deflator used for constant-dollar 
earnings series presented in this release is derived from 
the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and 
Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
	For the purpose of the Real Earnings series, 
the CPI-W is converted from the base of 1982-84 that 
is used in the official, published series to a base of 
1982.  Thus, the constant dollar average hourly and 
weekly earnings series are in 1982 dollars.  To avoid 
confusion for users, the CPI data presented in Table A 
are the official, published CPI-W series.  These data 
may differ slightly from those used in the real earnings 
calculations.
	Seasonally adjusted data are used for 
estimates of percent change from the same month a 
year ago for current and constant average hourly and 
weekly earnings that are presented in Table B of this 
release.  Special techniques are applied to the CES 
hours and earnings data in the seasonal adjustment 
process to mitigate the effect of certain calendar-
related fluctuations.  Thus, over-the-year changes of 
these hours and earnings are best measured using 
seasonally adjusted series.  A discussion of the 
calendar-related fluctuations in the hours and earnings 
data and the special techniques to remove them is 
available in the February 2004 issue of Employment and 
Earnings or on the Internet under 'Technical Notes'
(http://www.bls.gov/ces/). 
	Earnings series from the monthly 
establishment series are estimated arithmetic averages 
(means) of the hourly and weekly earnings of all 
production and nonsupervisory jobs in the private 
nonfarm sector of the economy.  Average hourly 
earnings estimates are derived by dividing the 
estimated industry payroll--for all production and 
nonsupervisory jobs--by the corresponding paid hours.  
Average weekly hours estimates are similarly derived 
by dividing estimated aggregate hours by the 
corresponding number of production and nonsupervisory 
jobs.  Average weekly earnings estimates are derived 
by multiplying the average hourly earnings and the 
average weekly hours estimates.  This is equivalent to 
dividing the estimated payroll by the number of 
production and nonsupervisory jobs.  The weekly and 
hourly earnings estimates for aggregate industries, 
such as the major industry division and the total private 
sector averages printed in this release, are derived by 
summing the corresponding payroll, hours, and 
employment estimates of the component industries.  
As a result, each industry receives a "weight" in the 
published averages that corresponds to its current level 
of activity (employment or total hours).  This further 
implies that fluctuations and varying trends in 
employment in high-wage versus low-wage industries 
as well as wage rate changes influence the earnings 
averages.
	There are several characteristics of the series 
presented in this release that limit their suitability for 
some types of economic analyses. (1) The denominator 
for the weekly earnings series is the number of private 
nonfarm production and nonsupervisory worker jobs.  
This number includes full-time and part-time jobs as 
well as the jobs held by multiple jobholders in the 
private nonfarm sector.  These factors tend to result in 
weekly earnings averages significantly lower than the 
corresponding numbers for full-time jobs.  (2) Annual 
earnings averages can differ significantly from the 
result obtained by multiplying average weekly 
earnings times 52 weeks.  The difference may be due 
to factors such as turnovers and layoffs.  (3) The series 
are the average earnings of all production and 
nonsupervisory jobs, not the earnings average of 
"typical" jobs or jobs held by "typical" workers.  
Specifically, there are no adjustments for occupational, 
age, or schooling variations or for household type or 
location.  Many studies have established the 
significance of these factors and that their impact 
varies over time.
	Seasonally adjusted data (table 2) are 
preferred by some users for analyzing general earnings 
trends in the economy since they eliminate the effect of 
changes that normally occur at the same time and in 
about the same magnitude each year and, therefore, 
reveal the underlying trends and cyclical movements.  
Changes in average earnings may be due to seasonal 
changes in the proportion of workers in high-wage and 
low-wage industries or occupations or to seasonal 
changes in the amount of overtime work, and so on.
	For more information, see Thomas Gavett, 
"Measures of Change in Real Wages and Earnings," 
Monthly Labor Review, February 1972.
	Information in this release will be made 
available to sensory impaired individuals upon request.  
Voice phone:  202-691-5200; TDD Message Referral 
Phone Number: 1-800-877-8339.

Last Modified Date: April 15, 2009
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