Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release


Technical information:  (202) 691-6378     USDL 09-0814
               http://www.bls.gov/cps/
                                           For release:  10:00 A.M. (EDT)
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902     Thursday, July 16, 2009
                                   
                                   
           USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS:
                          SECOND QUARTER 2009
                          

   Median weekly earnings of the nation's 100.1 million full-time wage
and salary workers were $734 in the second quarter of 2009, the Bureau
of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today.
This was 2.1 percent higher than a year earlier.  The Consumer Price
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell by 1.2 percent 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.)  Highlights
from the second-quarter data are:
   
   --Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $652
     per week, or 80.0 percent of the $815 median for men.  The fe-
     male-to-male earnings ratios were higher among blacks (91.5 per-
     cent) and Hispanics (88.9 percent) than among whites (79.1 per-
     cent) or Asians (80.6 percent).  (See table 1.)

   --Median earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $620
     per week, 73.6 percent of the median for white men ($842).  The 
     difference was smaller among women, as black women's median earn-
     ings ($567) were 85.1 percent of those for white women ($666).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time 
     ($547) were lower than those of blacks ($592), whites ($754), 
     and Asians ($909).  (See table 1.)

   --Among men, those age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest 
     median weekly earnings, $961 and $964, respectively.  Among women,
     weekly earnings were highest for those ages 55 to 64 ($721). 
     (See table 2.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time
     in management, professional, and related occupations had the high-
     est median weekly earnings--$1,250 for men and $900 for women.  Per-
     sons employed in service jobs earned the least.  (See table 3.)

   --Full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had
     median weekly earnings of $465, compared with $630 for high school 
     graduates (no college) and $1,140 for those holding at least a bach-
     elor's degree.  Among college graduates with advanced degrees (profes-
     sional or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent 
     of male workers made $3,434 or more per week, compared with $2,130 or 
     more for their female counterparts.  (See table 4.)





                                   - 2 -


Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey (CPS), which provides the basic information on the
labor force, employment, and unemployment.  The survey is conducted
monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau
from a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 house-
holds, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The earnings data are collected from one-quarter of the CPS monthly
sample and are limited to wages and salaries.  The data, therefore,
exclude self-employment income.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory
impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200;
TDD message referral phone:  1-800-877-8339.

Reliability

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and non-
sampling 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 exact difference, or
sampling error, varies depending on the particular sample selected,
and this 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
errors 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 on a timely basis, mistakes made by
respondents, and errors made in the collection or processing of the
data.

   For a full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and
information on estimating standard errors, see the Household Data
section of the "Explanatory Notes and Estimates of Error" available on
the BLS Web site at http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_methods.pdf.

Definitions

   The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings
series 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, 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 as perceived by the respondent.
If the respondent asks for a definition of usual, interviewers are in-
structed to define the term as more than half the weeks worked during
the past 4 or 5 months.


                                   - 3 -


   Medians (and other quantiles) of weekly earnings.  The median (or
upper limit of the second quartile) is the amount which divides a
given earnings distribution into two equal groups, one having earnings
above the median and the other 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 estimating procedure places each reported or calculated weekly
earnings value into $50-wide intervals which are centered around
multiples of $50.  The actual value is estimated through the linear
interpolation of the interval in which the quantile boundary lies.

   Over-the-year changes 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:  (1) There could be a change in the re-
lative weights of the subgroups.  For example, the medians of both 16-
to-24 year olds and those 25 years and over may rise; but if the lower-
earning 16-to-24 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 could be caused by survey
observations that are clustered at rounded values, such as $250, $300,
$400.  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.

   Wage and salary workers.  Workers who receive wages, salaries, com-
missions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates.  The group includes em-
ployees in both the private and public sectors but, for the purposes of
the earnings series, excludes all self-employed persons, regardless of
whether or not their businesses are incorporated.

   Full-time workers.  Workers who usually work 35 hours or more per
week at their sole or principal job.

   Part-time workers.  Workers who usually work fewer than 35 hours
per week at their sole or principal job.

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

   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.  Refers to persons who identified
themselves in the enumeration process as being Spanish, Hispanic, or
Latino.  Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino
may be of any race.





     Table 1.  Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not
     seasonally adjusted
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                          Number of workers                 Median weekly earnings            
                                                                            (in thousands)                                                    
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                              
                              Characteristic                                                      In current dollars      In constant (1982)  
                                                                                                                               dollars        
                                                                            II          II                                                    
                                                                           2008        2009                                                   
                                                                                                    II          II          II          II    
                                                                                                   2008        2009        2008        2009   
                                                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                              
                                SEX AND AGE                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                              
       Total, 16 years and over.......................................   107,119     100,130        $719        $734        $320        $330  
                                                                                                                                              
         Men, 16 years and over.......................................    59,759      55,419         800         815         356         367  
           16 to 24 years.............................................     6,169       5,128         469         450         209         203  
           25 years and over..........................................    53,589      50,290         862         872         384         393  
                                                                                                                                              
         Women, 16 years and over.....................................    47,360      44,711         634         652         282         294  
           16 to 24 years.............................................     4,692       3,911         415         413         185         186  
           25 years and over..........................................    42,668      40,801         668         679         297         306  
                                                                                                                                              
                RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                              
         White........................................................    86,389      81,012         738         754         329         339  
           Men........................................................    49,412      45,921         827         842         368         379  
           Women......................................................    36,977      35,091         648         666         289         300  
                                                                                                                                              
         Black or African American....................................    12,889      11,785         591         592         263         267  
           Men........................................................     6,105       5,436         615         620         274         279  
           Women......................................................     6,785       6,349         568         567         253         255  
                                                                                                                                              
         Asian........................................................     5,267       4,976         855         909         381         409  
           Men........................................................     2,804       2,739         975         969         434         437  
           Women......................................................     2,463       2,237         741         781         330         352  
                                                                                                                                              
         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.................................    15,951      14,900         537         547         239         246  
           Men........................................................    10,059       9,265         569         575         253         259  
           Women......................................................     5,892       5,635         494         511         220         230  

        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 2.  Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity,
     and sex, second quarter 2009 averages, not seasonally adjusted
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                           Total                Men                Women       
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
              Age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity           Number of           Number of           Number of          
                                                                     workers    Median   workers    Median   workers    Median 
                                                                       (in      weekly     (in      weekly     (in      weekly 
                                                                    thousands) earnings thousands) earnings thousands) earnings
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                               
                                 TOTAL                                                                                         
                                                                                                                               
       16 years and over...........................................  100,130      $734    55,419      $815    44,711      $652 
         16 to 24 years............................................    9,039       432     5,128       450     3,911       413 
           16 to 19 years..........................................    1,211       327       695       340       515       317 
           20 to 24 years..........................................    7,828       455     4,433       471     3,395       435 
         25 years and over.........................................   91,091       770    50,290       872    40,801       679 
           25 to 54 years..........................................   73,878       762    41,032       854    32,846       674 
             25 to 34 years........................................   24,027       672    13,500       710    10,527       632 
             35 to 44 years........................................   24,624       823    13,942       915    10,682       699 
             45 to 54 years........................................   25,227       824    13,591       961    11,636       703 
           55 years and over.......................................   17,213       823     9,258       945     7,955       703 
             55 to 64 years........................................   14,618       840     7,797       964     6,821       721 
             65 years and over.....................................    2,594       705     1,461       826     1,134       635 
                                                                                                                               
                                 White                                                                                         
       16 years and over...........................................   81,012       754    45,921       842    35,091       666 
         16 to 24 years............................................    7,432       443     4,251       462     3,181       422 
         25 years and over.........................................   73,580       797    41,670       896    31,910       698 
           25 to 54 years..........................................   59,158       785    33,744       879    25,413       694 
           55 years and over.......................................   14,422       852     7,926       963     6,497       717 
                                                                                                                               
                       Black or African American                                                                               
       16 years and over...........................................   11,785       592     5,436       620     6,349       567 
         16 to 24 years............................................    1,031       395       509       412       522       374 
         25 years and over.........................................   10,754       613     4,926       660     5,827       583 
           25 to 54 years..........................................    9,060       610     4,163       649     4,897       583 
           55 years and over.......................................    1,694       643       763       730       930       583 
                                                                                                                               
                                 Asian                                                                                         
       16 years and over...........................................    4,976       909     2,739       969     2,237       781 
         16 to 24 years............................................      272       451       180       475        93       430 
         25 years and over.........................................    4,704       938     2,560     1,009     2,145       813 
           25 to 54 years..........................................    3,908       950     2,127     1,060     1,782       810 
           55 years and over.......................................      796       841       433       856       363       829 
                                                                                                                               
                      Hispanic or Latino ethnicity                                                                             
       16 years and over...........................................   14,900       547     9,265       575     5,635       511 
         16 to 24 years............................................    1,802       416     1,105       424       697       401 
         25 years and over.........................................   13,099       582     8,161       605     4,938       535 
           25 to 54 years..........................................   11,601       580     7,277       603     4,324       531 
           55 years and over.......................................    1,497       599       884       628       613       564 

        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 occupation and sex, quarterly averages, not
     seasonally adjusted
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                 Number of workers         Median weekly earnings  
                                                                                   (in thousands)                                  
                               Occupation and sex                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                  II            II            II            II     
                                                                                 2008          2009          2008          2009    
                                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                   
                                     TOTAL                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                   
       Management, professional, and related occupations...................     39,861        38,820        $1,028        $1,046   
         Management, business, and financial operations occupations........     15,947        15,634         1,135         1,145   
         Professional and related occupations..............................     23,914        23,186           978           994   
       Service occupations.................................................     14,700        14,530           475           468   
       Sales and office occupations........................................     25,792        23,747           610           622   
         Sales and related occupations.....................................     10,325         9,575           645           665   
         Office and administrative support occupations.....................     15,467        14,172           598           607   
       Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations........     11,815        10,469           691           707   
         Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations........................        800           736           409           440   
         Construction and extraction occupations...........................      6,551         5,325           677           702   
         Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.................      4,464         4,407           778           763   
       Production, transportation, and material moving occupations.........     14,951        12,564           600           611   
         Production occupations............................................      8,045         6,453           594           622   
         Transportation and material moving occupations....................      6,905         6,111           606           595   
                                                                                                                                   
                                      Men                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                   
       Management, professional, and related occupations...................     19,623        18,979         1,243         1,250   
         Management, business, and financial operations occupations........      8,816         8,630         1,356         1,342   
         Professional and related occupations..............................     10,807        10,348         1,169         1,188   
       Service occupations.................................................      7,255         7,225           539           520   
       Sales and office occupations........................................      9,820         9,078           730           726   
         Sales and related occupations.....................................      5,727         5,349           786           782   
         Office and administrative support occupations.....................      4,093         3,729           643           638   
       Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations........     11,317        10,021           693           716   
         Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations........................        638           589           414           455   
         Construction and extraction occupations...........................      6,407         5,192           676           704   
         Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.................      4,271         4,240           773           772   
       Production, transportation, and material moving occupations.........     11,745        10,115           648           656   
         Production occupations............................................      5,797         4,774           664           696   
         Transportation and material moving occupations....................      5,947         5,341           629           616   
                                                                                                                                   
                                     Women                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                   
       Management, professional, and related occupations...................     20,238        19,841           884           900   
         Management, business, and financial operations occupations........      7,131         7,004           922           968   
         Professional and related occupations..............................     13,108        12,838           868           862   
       Service occupations.................................................      7,445         7,305           416           419   
       Sales and office occupations........................................     15,973        14,669           575           589   
         Sales and related occupations.....................................      4,598         4,226           500           541   
         Office and administrative support occupations.....................     11,375        10,442           591           599   
       Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations........        498           448           616           548   
         Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations........................        162           147           389           394   
         Construction and extraction occupations...........................        144           133           733           629   
         Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations.................        192           167           806           563   
       Production, transportation, and material moving occupations.........      3,206         2,448           467           478   
         Production occupations............................................      2,248         1,679           470           479   
         Transportation and material moving occupations....................        958           769           450           476   

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





     Table 4. Quartiles and selected deciles of usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected
     characteristics, second quarter 2009 averages, not seasonally adjusted
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                  Upper limit of:                 
                                                                                                                                  
                              Characteristic                            Number of                                                  
                                                                         workers   First     First     Second    Third     Ninth  
                                                                           (in     decile   quartile  quartile  quartile   decile 
                                                                        thousands)                    (median)                    
                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
                SEX, RACE, AND HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY                                                                       
                                                                                                                                  
       Total, 16 years and over.......................................  100,130      $351      $491      $734    $1,140    $1,736 
         Men..........................................................   55,419       382       523       815     1,265     1,905 
         Women........................................................   44,711       327       450       652       978     1,429 
                                                                                                                                  
         White........................................................   81,012       358       501       754     1,161     1,765 
           Men........................................................   45,921       388       544       842     1,310     1,943 
           Women......................................................   35,091       331       460       666       995     1,442 
                                                                                                                                  
         Black or African American....................................   11,785       322       418       592       881     1,245 
           Men........................................................    5,436       337       441       620       940     1,297 
           Women......................................................    6,349       313       402       567       820     1,181 
                                                                                                                                  
         Asian........................................................    4,976       381       548       909     1,437     1,919 
           Men........................................................    2,739       401       599       969     1,540     2,118 
           Women......................................................    2,237       349       498       781     1,279     1,794 
                                                                                                                                  
         Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.................................   14,900       302       394       547       805     1,224 
           Men........................................................    9,265       323       415       575       847     1,303 
           Women......................................................    5,635       283       352       511       737     1,071 
                                                                                                                                  
                          EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                  
       Total, 25 years and over.......................................   91,091       378       518       770     1,177     1,770 
         Less than a high school diploma..............................    7,565       281       351       465       622       857 
         High school graduates, no college (1) .......................   25,846       346       461       630       894     1,229 
         Some college or associate degree.............................   25,094       382       511       719     1,024     1,403 
         Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ............................   32,585       558       772     1,140     1,704     2,395 
           Bachelor's degree only.....................................   20,678       511       716     1,031     1,544     2,171 
           Advanced degree............................................   11,907       668       925     1,332     1,915     2,879 
                                                                                                                                  
         Men, 25 years and over.......................................   50,290       407       579       872     1,339     1,968 
           Less than a high school diploma............................    5,072       300       388       503       689       917 
           High school graduates, no college (1) .....................   15,021       389       508       714       979     1,344 
           Some college or associate degree...........................   12,820       423       584       836     1,167     1,573 
           Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ..........................   17,377       616       897     1,337     1,916     2,889 
             Bachelor's degree only...................................   10,989       587       819     1,209     1,767     2,505 
             Advanced degree..........................................    6,388       741     1,039     1,546     2,281     3,434 
                                                                                                                                  
         Women, 25 years and over.....................................   40,801       345       479       679     1,016     1,471 
           Less than a high school diploma............................    2,493       251       305       387       507       645 
           High school graduates, no college (1) .....................   10,826       311       404       550       738     1,010 
           Some college or associate degree...........................   12,274       357       471       630       876     1,167 
           Bachelor's degree and higher (2) ..........................   15,208       505       690       973     1,381     1,908 
             Bachelor's degree only...................................    9,690       471       632       882     1,240     1,770 
             Advanced degree..........................................    5,518       630       829     1,149     1,587     2,130 

       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 5.  Median usual weekly earnings of part-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not
     seasonally adjusted
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                  Number of workers           Median weekly earnings   
                                                                                    (in thousands)                                     
                                 Characteristic                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                   II             II              II             II      
                                                                                  2008           2009            2008           2009     
                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                       
                                  SEX AND AGE                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                       
       Total, 16 years and over............................................      22,534         24,705           $218           $225   
                                                                                                                                       
         Men, 16 years and over............................................       7,362          8,318            207            219   
           16 to 24 years..................................................       3,604          3,676            162            169   
           25 years and over...............................................       3,758          4,642            274            278   
                                                                                                                                       
         Women, 16 years and over..........................................      15,172         16,387            224            230   
           16 to 24 years..................................................       4,564          4,811            160            159   
           25 years and over...............................................      10,608         11,576            263            269   
                                                                                                                                       
                  RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX                                                                          
                                                                                                                                       
           White...........................................................      18,828         20,785            220            226   
               Men.........................................................       6,096          6,927            207            220   
               Women.......................................................      12,732         13,858            227            230   
                                                                                                                                       
           Black or African American.......................................       2,289          2,401            206            213   
               Men.........................................................         767            809            206            196   
               Women.......................................................       1,523          1,592            206            223   
                                                                                                                                       
           Asian...........................................................         875            887            244            266   
               Men.........................................................         305            346            213            289   
               Women.......................................................         569            542            270            248   
                                                                                                                                       
           Hispanic or Latino ethnicity....................................       2,687          3,332            220            224   
               Men.........................................................         996          1,303            234            227   
               Women.......................................................       1,692          2,028            214            223   

        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: July 16, 2009
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