Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 17, 2014           USDL-14-0605

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  •  cpsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  •  PressOffice@bls.gov


     USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS -- FIRST QUARTER 2014


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 104.3 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $796 in the first quarter of 2014 (not seasonally adjusted), the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 3.0 percent higher 
than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.4 percent in the Consumer Price 
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.

Data on usual weekly earnings are collected as part of the Current Population 
Survey, a nationwide sample survey of households in which respondents are 
asked, among other things, how much each wage and salary worker usually earns. 
(See the Technical Note.) Data shown in this release are not seasonally 
adjusted unless otherwise specified. Highlights from the first-quarter data 
are:

  • Median weekly earnings were $796 in the first quarter of 2014. Women
    who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $722, or
    82.8 percent of the $872 median for men. (See table 2.) 

  • The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White 
    women earned 82.4 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared 
    with black women (85.6 percent), Asian women (83.8 percent), and Hispanic 
    women (92.6 percent). (See table 2.) 

  • Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for 
    black men working at full-time jobs were $708 per week, or 78.8 percent of 
    the median for white men ($898). The difference was less among women, as 
    black women's median earnings ($606) were 81.9 percent of those for white 
    women ($740). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time 
    ($593) were lower than those of blacks ($646), whites ($819), and Asians 
    ($955). (See table 2.) 

  • Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those 
    age 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $1,021 
    and $992, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 
    to 64: weekly earnings were $787 for women age 35 to 44 and for women age 
    45 to 54, and $776 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the 
    lowest median weekly earnings, at $465. (See table 3.) 

  • Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in 
    management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median 
    weekly earnings--$1,347 for men and $975 for women. Men and women employed
    in service jobs earned the least, $581 and $459, respectively. (See table 4.) 

  • By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high 
    school diploma had median weekly earnings of $480, compared with $660 for 
    high school graduates (no college) and $1,199 for those holding at least a 
    bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees 
    (professional or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent 
    of male workers made $3,834 or more per week, compared with $2,390 or more 
    for their female counterparts. (See table 5.) 

  • Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $791 in the first quarter 
    of 2014, little changed from the previous quarter ($782). (See table 1.) 



   _______________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                               |
  |        Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data             |
  |                                                                               |
  |  Seasonally adjusted data for median usual weekly earnings in constant        |
  |  (1982-84) dollars have been updated using revised seasonally adjusted data   |
  |  for the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). (Data are      |
  |  shown in table 1 of the release.) Seasonally adjusted constant (1982-84)     |
  |  dollar estimates back to the first quarter of 2009 were subject to revision. |
  |_______________________________________________________________________________|




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS),
which provides basic information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The
survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census
Bureau using a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible house-
holds, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data
are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and
salary workers. All self-employed workers, both incorporated and unincorporated, are
excluded from CPS earnings estimates.

   Material in this news release is in the public domain and may be used without
permission. This information is available to sensory impaired individuals upon
request. Voice telephone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.

Definitions

   The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings data in this news
release are described briefly below.

   Usual weekly earnings. Data represent earnings before taxes and other deductions and
include any overtime pay, commissions, or tips usually received (at the main job in the
case of multiple jobholders). Prior to 1994, respondents were asked how much they
usually earned per week. Since January 1994, respondents have been asked to identify
the easiest way for them to report earnings (hourly, weekly, biweekly, twice monthly,
monthly, annually, or other) and how much they usually earn in the reported time period.

   Earnings reported on a basis other than weekly are converted to a weekly equivalent.
The term "usual" is determined by each respondent’s own understanding of the term. If
the respondent asks for a definition of "usual," interviewers are instructed to define
the term as more than half the weeks worked during the past 4 or 5 months.

   Medians (and other quantiles) of weekly earnings. The median (or upper limit of the
second quartile) is the midpoint in a given earnings distribution, with half of workers
having earnings above the median and the other half having earnings below the median.
Ten percent of a given distribution have earnings below the upper limit of the first
decile (90 percent have higher earnings), 25 percent have earnings below the upper limit
of the first quartile (75 percent have higher earnings), 75 percent have earnings below
the upper limit of the third quartile (25 percent have higher earnings), and 90 percent
have earnings below the upper limit of the ninth decile (10 percent have higher earnings).

   The BLS procedure for estimating the median of an earnings distribution places each 
reported or calculated weekly earnings value into a $50-wide interval that is centered
around a multiple of $50. The median is calculated through the linear interpolation of 
the interval in which the median lies.

   Changes over time in the medians (and other quantile boundaries) for specific groups
may not necessarily be consistent with the movements estimated for the overall quantile
boundary. The most common reasons for this possible anomaly are as follows: (1) there
could be a change in the relative weights of the subgroups. For example, the median of
16- to 24-year-olds and the median earnings of those 25 years and over may rise, but if
the lower earning 16-to-24 age group accounts for a greatly increased share of the
total, the overall median could actually fall. (2) there could be a large change in the
shape of the distribution of reported earnings, particularly near a quantile boundary.
This change could be caused by survey observations that are clustered at rounded values,
such as $400 or $500. An estimate lying in a $50-wide centered interval containing such
a cluster or "spike" tends to change more slowly than one in other intervals.

   Constant dollars. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is used
to convert current dollars to constant (1982-84) dollars.

   Wage and salary workers. These are workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions,
tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private
and public sectors but, for the purposes of the earnings series, it excludes all self-
employed persons, both those with incorporated businesses and those with unincorporated
businesses.

   Full-time workers. For the purpose of producing estimates of earnings, workers who
usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job are defined as
working full time.

   Part-time workers. For the purpose of producing estimates of earnings, workers who
usually work fewer than 35 hours per week at their sole or principal job are defined as
working part time.

   Race. In the survey process, race is determined by the household respondent. In
accordance with the Office of Management and Budget guidelines, white, black or African
American, Asian, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific 
Islanders are terms used to describe a person’s race. Estimates for the latter two race
groups and persons who selected more than one race are not included in this release due
to insufficient sample size.

   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. This refers to people who identified themselves in the
survey process as being of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin. People whose ethnicity
is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

Reliability

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. When a
sample, rather than the entire population, is surveyed, there is a chance that the sample
estimates may differ from the true population values they represent. The component of
this difference that occurs because samples differ by chance is known as sampling error,
and its variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate. There is about a
90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an estimate based on a sample will differ
by no more than 1.6 standard errors from the true population value because of sampling
error. BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of confidence. 

   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error. Nonsampling error can occur for
many reasons, including the failure to sample a segment of the population, inability
to obtain information for all respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of
respondents to provide correct information, and errors made in the collection or
processing of the data.

   Additional information about the reliability of data from the CPS is available on the
BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Seasonal adjustment

   Over the course of a year, the size of the nation's labor force and other measures
of labor market activity undergo regularly occurring fluctuations. These recurring
events include seasonal changes in weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing
of schools. The effect of such seasonal variations can be very large.

   Because seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each year, their
influence on the level of a series can be tempered by adjusting for regular seasonal
variation. These adjustments make nonseasonal developments easier to spot. The
seasonally adjusted figures provide a more useful tool with which to analyze changes
in quarter-to-quarter activity.

   At the end of each calendar year, the seasonally adjusted data are revised for the past
5 years when the seasonal adjustment factors are updated. More information on seasonal
adjustment is available on the BLS website at www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#sa.




Table 1. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, quarterly averages, seasonally adjusted
Year and quarter Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
Total Men Women In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
Total
$
Men
$
Women
$
Total
$
Men
$
Women
$

2005

1st Quarter

102,091 57,710 44,381 647 723 580 336 376 302

2nd Quarter

103,201 58,099 45,101 647 714 584 334 369 301

3rd Quarter

104,310 58,843 45,467 651 723 588 331 368 299

4th Quarter

104,605 58,967 45,638 658 730 588 332 368 296

2006

1st Quarter

104,708 58,960 45,748 662 737 594 332 370 298

2nd Quarter

105,798 59,831 45,966 663 732 597 329 364 296

3rd Quarter

107,041 60,060 46,981 678 755 603 334 372 297

4th Quarter

106,847 60,140 46,707 681 748 607 337 370 300

2007

1st Quarter

107,176 60,105 47,070 687 752 610 336 368 298

2nd Quarter

106,827 60,351 46,476 693 765 610 335 370 295

3rd Quarter

107,156 60,216 46,940 698 774 621 336 372 298

4th Quarter

108,178 60,508 47,670 700 774 615 332 368 292

2008

1st Quarter

107,786 60,378 47,408 713 783 633 335 368 298

2nd Quarter

107,046 59,586 47,460 722 802 636 335 372 295

3rd Quarter

106,136 59,273 46,863 724 802 637 331 367 291

4th Quarter

105,617 58,511 47,106 727 806 647 340 377 302

2009

1st Quarter

101,683 56,302 45,381 732 815 645 345 384 304

2nd Quarter

99,996 55,233 44,763 737 818 652 345 383 305

3rd Quarter

99,050 54,481 44,569 742 820 664 345 381 309

4th Quarter

98,555 54,410 44,145 747 823 666 344 379 307

2010

1st Quarter

98,151 54,104 44,047 748 836 662 344 384 305

2nd Quarter

99,616 55,042 44,574 743 813 670 342 374 309

3rd Quarter

100,407 55,613 44,793 745 822 670 342 377 307

4th Quarter

99,939 55,469 44,470 750 826 676 341 376 308

2011

1st Quarter

99,691 55,339 44,352 750 821 679 338 370 306

2nd Quarter

100,376 55,855 44,521 754 828 687 336 369 306

3rd Quarter

100,477 56,042 44,435 758 837 682 335 370 301

4th Quarter

101,287 56,646 44,641 761 838 686 335 369 302

2012

1st Quarter

102,194 57,114 45,080 765 841 693 335 369 304

2nd Quarter

102,543 57,113 45,430 772 867 686 337 379 300

3rd Quarter

102,615 57,216 45,399 764 838 693 332 365 302

4th Quarter

103,644 57,709 45,935 772 868 690 334 375 298

2013

1st Quarter

103,960 57,909 46,051 770 860 700 332 371 302

2nd Quarter

103,981 57,969 46,013 776 862 705 334 371 303

3rd Quarter

104,497 58,124 46,373 778 859 706 333 368 302

4th Quarter

104,620 57,988 46,632 782 862 712 334 368 304

2014

1st Quarter

105,620 58,704 46,917 791 867 716 336 368 304

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 2. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
1st
2013
1st
2014
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
1st
2013
1st
2014
1st
2013
1st
2014

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

102,606 104,327 $773 $796 $334 $339

Men, 16 years and over

56,829 57,654 867 872 374 371

16 to 24 years

4,727 4,871 487 480 210 204

25 years and over

52,102 52,783 914 925 394 394

Women, 16 years and over

45,777 46,673 704 722 304 307

16 to 24 years

3,712 3,707 419 434 181 185

25 years and over

42,065 42,967 735 754 317 321

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

81,432 82,536 802 819 346 349

Men

46,163 46,637 888 898 383 382

Women

35,269 35,899 723 740 312 315

Black or African American

12,432 12,501 622 646 268 275

Men

5,784 5,863 666 708 287 301

Women

6,648 6,638 597 606 258 258

Asian

5,861 6,353 951 955 410 407

Men

3,255 3,516 1,058 1,045 456 445

Women

2,606 2,838 831 876 358 373

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16,016 16,804 575 593 248 252

Men

9,821 10,292 593 610 256 260

Women

6,195 6,513 531 565 229 240

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 3. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex, 1st quarter 2014 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total Men Women
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings

TOTAL

16 years and over

104,327 $796 57,654 $872 46,673 $722

16 to 24 years

8,577 465 4,871 480 3,707 434

16 to 19 years

843 395 509 410 333 369

20 to 24 years

7,735 476 4,362 489 3,373 448

25 years and over

95,750 837 52,783 925 42,967 754

25 to 54 years

74,812 827 41,476 905 33,336 750

25 to 34 years

25,237 727 14,246 755 10,991 679

35 to 44 years

24,435 891 13,684 973 10,751 787

45 to 54 years

25,139 898 13,545 1,021 11,594 787

55 years and over

20,938 884 11,307 979 9,631 767

55 to 64 years

17,335 896 9,342 992 7,993 776

65 years and over

3,603 809 1,966 938 1,638 714

White

16 years and over

82,536 819 46,637 898 35,899 740

16 to 24 years

6,908 479 3,984 493 2,923 449

25 years and over

75,628 861 42,652 948 32,976 771

25 to 54 years

58,213 851 33,072 929 25,141 771

55 years and over

17,415 911 9,580 1,006 7,835 772

Black or African American

16 years and over

12,501 646 5,863 708 6,638 606

16 to 24 years

1,020 384 507 386 513 381

25 years and over

11,481 682 5,356 742 6,125 624

25 to 54 years

9,364 670 4,365 731 4,999 615

55 years and over

2,116 744 991 789 1,125 673

Asian

16 years and over

6,353 955 3,516 1,045 2,838 876

16 to 24 years

342 478 198 498 144 419

25 years and over

6,011 1,000 3,317 1,088 2,694 921

25 to 54 years

4,960 1,037 2,743 1,127 2,217 944

55 years and over

1,051 895 574 942 477 838

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

16,804 593 10,292 610 6,513 565

16 to 24 years

1,925 421 1,249 417 677 432

25 years and over

14,879 618 9,043 651 5,836 587

25 to 54 years

12,903 618 7,938 645 4,965 591

55 years and over

1,976 619 1,105 682 871 556

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 4. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by occupation and sex, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Occupation and sex Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
1st
2013
1st
2014
1st
2013
1st
2014

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

41,565 42,034 $1,136 $1,130

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

17,241 17,015 1,238 1,231

Professional and related occupations

24,324 25,020 1,063 1,072

Service occupations

14,618 14,822 501 504

Sales and office occupations

22,716 23,416 655 685

Sales and related occupations

9,115 9,683 703 754

Office and administrative support occupations

13,601 13,733 640 660

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,010 10,162 738 763

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

668 607 430 417

Construction and extraction occupations

5,169 5,304 707 745

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,173 4,250 850 820

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

13,698 13,894 622 644

Production occupations

7,290 7,507 640 644

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,408 6,386 609 644

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

20,037 19,884 1,344 1,347

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,292 9,040 1,408 1,399

Professional and related occupations

10,745 10,844 1,269 1,297

Service occupations

7,388 7,623 576 581

Sales and office occupations

8,881 9,261 765 794

Sales and related occupations

5,215 5,468 824 875

Office and administrative support occupations

3,666 3,793 723 720

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,593 9,713 746 773

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

523 496 444 423

Construction and extraction occupations

5,063 5,168 706 750

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,008 4,049 853 823

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

10,931 11,174 674 686

Production occupations

5,471 5,631 708 705

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,459 5,543 627 668

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

21,528 22,151 984 975

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,949 7,975 1,083 1,055

Professional and related occupations

13,579 14,176 945 943

Service occupations

7,231 7,199 447 459

Sales and office occupations

13,835 14,155 609 629

Sales and related occupations

3,900 4,215 565 599

Office and administrative support occupations

9,935 9,940 622 641

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

417 448 608 543

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

145 112 353 368

Construction and extraction occupations

106 136 743 630

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

165 201 827 649

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,767 2,720 502 504

Production occupations

1,818 1,877 503 504

Transportation and material moving occupations

949 843 500 505

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 5. Quartiles and selected deciles of usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, 1st quarter 2014 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Upper limit of:
First decile First
quartile
Second
quartile
(median)
Third
quartile
Ninth
decile

SEX, RACE, AND HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY

Total, 16 years and over

104,327 $378 $518 $796 $1,254 $1,893

Men

57,654 393 564 872 1,399 2,076

Women

46,673 360 489 722 1,103 1,637

White

82,536 386 536 819 1,285 1,906

Men

46,637 402 581 898 1,428 2,097

Women

35,899 368 500 740 1,126 1,665

Black or African American

12,501 333 439 646 973 1,431

Men

5,863 334 465 708 1,068 1,517

Women

6,638 333 425 606 908 1,280

Asian

6,353 395 597 955 1,550 2,293

Men

3,516 405 621 1,045 1,763 2,500

Women

2,838 384 561 876 1,422 1,911

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16,804 320 409 593 899 1,385

Men

10,292 325 416 610 945 1,472

Women

6,513 314 397 565 841 1,223

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

95,750 396 559 837 1,314 1,914

Less than a high school diploma

6,601 293 362 480 644 855

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,220 367 477 660 942 1,355

Some college or associate degree

25,655 398 526 756 1,081 1,532

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

38,273 582 821 1,199 1,783 2,613

Bachelor's degree only

24,289 540 754 1,102 1,633 2,306

Advanced degree

13,983 687 960 1,419 2,026 3,007

Men, 25 years and over

52,783 414 602 925 1,456 2,122

Less than a high school diploma

4,505 308 385 501 692 907

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,042 396 530 756 1,053 1,491

Some college or associate degree

13,374 421 600 859 1,241 1,740

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

19,862 610 912 1,393 1,997 2,928

Bachelor's degree only

12,865 578 834 1,247 1,850 2,599

Advanced degree

6,997 753 1,134 1,652 2,431 3,834

Women, 25 years and over

42,967 379 511 754 1,143 1,689

Less than a high school diploma

2,097 275 328 410 577 711

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,178 332 417 564 760 1,025

Some college or associate degree

12,281 381 487 658 929 1,270

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

18,411 550 757 1,063 1,531 2,103

Bachelor's degree only

11,424 513 700 981 1,404 1,913

Advanced degree

6,987 638 867 1,205 1,733 2,390

Footnotes
(1) Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
(2) Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.

NOTE: Ten percent of all full-time wage and salary workers earn less than the upper limit of the first decile; 25 percent earn less than the upper limit of the first quartile; 50 percent earn less than the upper limit of the second quartile, or median; 75 percent earn less than the upper limit of the third quartile; and 90 percent earn less than the upper limit of the ninth decile. Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 6. Median usual weekly earnings of part-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
1st
2013
1st
2014
1st
2013
1st
2014

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,849 25,053 $234 $236

Men, 16 years and over

8,813 8,688 228 235

16 to 24 years

3,775 3,652 180 181

25 years and over

5,037 5,036 269 285

Women, 16 years and over

16,037 16,366 238 237

16 to 24 years

4,627 4,904 166 173

25 years and over

11,410 11,462 272 276

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,140 20,274 234 238

Men

7,005 6,960 226 234

Women

13,136 13,314 239 240

Black or African American

2,704 2,952 235 228

Men

1,105 1,068 235 252

Women

1,599 1,884 236 216

Asian

1,187 949 240 254

Men

372 293 238 202

Women

814 656 241 285

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,910 4,116 225 226

Men

1,564 1,577 228 247

Women

2,345 2,539 224 214

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Last Modified Date: April 17, 2014
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