Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 19, 2011                           USDL-11-1082

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
                                    SECOND QUARTER 2011


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 100.6 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $753 in the second quarter of 2011 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. This was 1.8 percent higher than a year earlier,
compared with a gain of 3.4 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 second-quarter data are:

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $756 in the second quarter
     of 2011, little changed from the previous quarter ($749). (See table 1.)

   --On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $753 in the
     second quarter of 2011. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly
     earnings of $689, or 83.5 percent of the $825 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The female-to-male earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women
     earned 82.9 percent of their male counterparts, compared with black (88.0
     percent), Asian (77.0 percent), and Hispanic women (89.4 percent). (See
     table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black
     men working at full-time jobs were $673 per week, 79.2 percent of the median
     for white men ($850). The difference was less among women, as black women's
     median earnings ($592) were 84.0 percent of those for white women ($705).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($565) were lower
     than those of blacks ($623), whites ($770), and Asians ($872). (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, $974 and $1,001,
     respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64; weekly
     earnings were $742 for women age 35 to 44, $734 for women age 45 to 54, and
     $753 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly
     earnings, at $433. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management,
     professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--
     $1,268 for men and $931 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $544 and $439, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $458, compared with $643 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,141 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 $3,144 or more per week, compared with $2,368 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey (CPS), which provides 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 households, 
with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The earn-
ings data are collected from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and 
are limited to wage and salary workers (both incorporated and unincor-
porated self-employed are excluded).  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;
Federal Relay Service:  (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.

   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey and information on estimating standard errors is avail-
able on the BLS Web site www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

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.

   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 estimation 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 rel-
ative 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,
or $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 (1982-84) 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.

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 adjust-
ing 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 re-
vised for the past 5 years when the seasonal adjustment factors are updated.  
More information on seasonal adjustment is available on the BLS Web site 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
$

2002

2nd Quarter

100,286 56,640 43,646 608 678 524 339 378 292

3rd Quarter

100,183 56,390 43,793 608 679 531 337 376 294

4th Quarter

99,895 56,224 43,670 610 683 540 336 376 298

2003

1st Quarter

100,136 56,079 44,057 615 689 546 335 376 297

2nd Quarter

100,255 56,013 44,242 619 692 551 338 378 301

3rd Quarter

100,139 56,178 43,961 621 697 554 337 378 300

4th Quarter

100,628 56,607 44,021 623 702 560 337 379 302

2004

1st Quarter

100,905 56,848 44,057 629 705 562 337 378 301

2nd Quarter

101,135 56,914 44,221 642 715 576 341 380 306

3rd Quarter

101,148 56,931 44,217 635 712 574 335 376 303

4th Quarter

101,658 57,289 44,369 646 720 577 337 376 302

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

107,134 60,063 47,072 687 751 609 336 368 298

2nd Quarter

106,819 60,346 46,473 693 765 610 335 370 295

3rd Quarter

107,156 60,220 46,936 698 774 620 336 372 298

4th Quarter

108,251 60,571 47,680 700 774 614 332 368 292

2008

1st Quarter

107,740 60,328 47,412 712 782 633 335 368 297

2nd Quarter

107,061 59,588 47,473 723 801 637 335 372 296

3rd Quarter

106,088 59,246 46,841 724 803 636 331 367 291

4th Quarter

105,711 58,601 47,109 727 807 646 340 378 302

2009

1st Quarter

101,612 56,231 45,381 731 814 645 344 383 304

2nd Quarter

100,033 55,246 44,787 737 817 655 345 383 307

3rd Quarter

98,949 54,425 44,525 742 820 663 345 381 308

4th Quarter

98,702 54,534 44,168 747 825 665 345 380 307

2010

1st Quarter

98,071 54,026 44,044 747 834 662 343 383 304

2nd Quarter

99,674 55,062 44,612 744 813 674 342 374 310

3rd Quarter

100,242 55,524 44,718 745 822 668 342 377 306

4th Quarter

100,132 55,620 44,512 751 829 675 342 378 307

2011

1st Quarter

99,698 55,312 44,385 749 820 679 337 369 306

2nd Quarter

100,397 55,845 44,552 756 828 689 337 369 307

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
2nd
2010
2nd
2011
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2010
2nd
2011
2nd
2010
2nd
2011

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

99,798 100,593 $740 $753 $340 $334

Men, 16 years and over

55,235 56,053 810 825 372 366

16 to 24 years

4,765 5,009 442 446 203 198

25 years and over

50,470 51,045 861 884 395 392

Women, 16 years and over

44,562 44,539 672 689 308 305

16 to 24 years

3,784 3,661 417 417 191 185

25 years and over

40,778 40,878 704 720 323 319

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

80,890 81,516 756 770 347 341

Men

45,771 46,572 838 850 384 377

Women

35,119 34,944 682 705 313 312

Black or African American

11,659 11,612 607 623 278 276

Men

5,431 5,376 632 673 290 298

Women

6,228 6,236 585 592 268 263

Asian

5,032 5,181 873 872 400 387

Men

2,836 2,872 901 972 413 431

Women

2,196 2,308 854 748 392 332

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,908 15,472 529 565 243 251

Men

9,275 9,649 542 586 249 260

Women

5,633 5,823 514 524 236 233

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, 2nd quarter 2011 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

100,593 $753 56,053 $825 44,539 $689

16 to 24 years

8,670 433 5,009 446 3,661 417

16 to 19 years

968 349 602 370 366 321

20 to 24 years

7,702 451 4,407 460 3,295 432

25 years and over

91,923 794 51,045 884 40,878 720

25 to 54 years

73,568 780 41,136 863 32,433 714

25 to 34 years

24,309 704 13,863 730 10,446 675

35 to 44 years

23,838 837 13,564 926 10,274 742

45 to 54 years

25,421 859 13,709 974 11,712 734

55 years and over

18,355 854 9,909 965 8,446 744

55 to 64 years

15,563 887 8,318 1,001 7,246 753

65 years and over

2,791 709 1,591 725 1,200 692

White

16 years and over

81,516 770 46,572 850 34,944 705

16 to 24 years

7,180 439 4,271 450 2,909 419

25 years and over

74,336 822 42,302 909 32,034 735

25 to 54 years

58,984 806 33,833 887 25,151 728

55 years and over

15,352 888 8,469 996 6,883 762

Black or African American

16 years and over

11,612 623 5,376 673 6,236 592

16 to 24 years

930 405 450 398 480 412

25 years and over

10,682 650 4,926 698 5,756 610

25 to 54 years

8,870 643 4,106 689 4,763 609

55 years and over

1,813 694 820 751 992 615

Asian

16 years and over

5,181 872 2,872 972 2,308 748

16 to 24 years

306 504 146 564 160 473

25 years and over

4,874 909 2,726 992 2,148 768

25 to 54 years

4,007 933 2,257 1,018 1,750 789

55 years and over

867 807 469 903 399 713

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

15,472 565 9,649 586 5,823 524

16 to 24 years

1,866 412 1,231 416 635 404

25 years and over

13,606 597 8,418 615 5,188 557

25 to 54 years

11,995 598 7,464 617 4,531 551

55 years and over

1,611 585 954 578 657 590

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
2nd
2010
2nd
2011
2nd
2010
2nd
2011

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

38,759 39,877 $1,050 $1,069

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

15,501 16,122 1,141 1,149

Professional and related occupations

23,257 23,754 999 1,019

Service occupations

14,870 14,233 486 489

Sales and office occupations

23,406 23,070 623 645

Sales and related occupations

9,080 9,235 662 674

Office and administrative support occupations

14,326 13,835 612 629

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,120 10,015 712 725

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

777 743 410 438

Construction and extraction occupations

5,141 5,169 694 719

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,202 4,104 791 796

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,644 13,398 612 610

Production occupations

6,639 7,011 608 617

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,005 6,387 618 601

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

18,920 19,209 1,229 1,268

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,484 8,775 1,334 1,371

Professional and related occupations

10,436 10,434 1,164 1,199

Service occupations

7,709 7,430 533 544

Sales and office occupations

8,802 8,940 720 739

Sales and related occupations

4,947 5,099 826 770

Office and administrative support occupations

3,856 3,841 616 693

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,712 9,650 722 729

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

610 622 425 445

Construction and extraction occupations

5,035 5,095 698 721

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,066 3,933 795 796

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

10,092 10,824 656 652

Production occupations

4,910 5,258 673 674

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,182 5,566 643 626

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

19,838 20,667 920 931

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,017 7,347 958 961

Professional and related occupations

12,821 13,320 902 908

Service occupations

7,161 6,803 433 439

Sales and office occupations

14,604 14,130 595 606

Sales and related occupations

4,133 4,137 521 576

Office and administrative support occupations

10,470 9,994 611 615

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

408 365 540 636

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

167 121 372 385

Construction and extraction occupations

106 74 587 688

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

135 171 697 775

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,551 2,574 465 484

Production occupations

1,729 1,753 469 494

Transportation and material moving occupations

822 820 451 451

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, 2nd quarter 2011 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

100,593 $361 $498 $753 $1,160 $1,774

Men

56,053 379 523 825 1,294 1,915

Women

44,539 345 472 689 1,013 1,495

White

81,516 366 508 770 1,184 1,840

Men

46,572 382 537 850 1,336 1,964

Women

34,944 348 482 705 1,030 1,527

Black or African American

11,612 332 421 623 918 1,300

Men

5,376 332 448 673 958 1,348

Women

6,236 332 409 592 866 1,232

Asian

5,181 376 531 872 1,378 2,024

Men

2,872 402 595 972 1,537 2,305

Women

2,308 347 497 748 1,183 1,751

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

15,472 310 392 565 854 1,275

Men

9,649 316 400 586 899 1,368

Women

5,823 299 378 524 776 1,168

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

91,923 383 528 794 1,210 1,855

Less than a high school diploma

7,153 290 348 458 637 873

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,478 355 465 643 928 1,272

Some college or associate degree

25,266 388 516 743 1,054 1,472

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

34,026 571 772 1,141 1,733 2,476

Bachelor's degree only

21,810 520 730 1,043 1,548 2,204

Advanced degree

12,215 651 906 1,344 1,923 2,886

Men, 25 years and over

51,045 401 579 884 1,359 1,999

Less than a high school diploma

4,937 299 371 496 681 957

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,140 386 510 721 1,029 1,428

Some college or associate degree

13,054 418 585 838 1,190 1,650

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

17,914 597 878 1,314 1,905 2,843

Bachelor's degree only

11,692 562 800 1,169 1,758 2,490

Advanced degree

6,222 714 1,021 1,572 2,244 3,144

Women, 25 years and over

40,878 362 493 720 1,056 1,541

Less than a high school diploma

2,216 275 322 393 518 688

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,338 327 410 557 754 1,009

Some college or associate degree

12,213 363 478 656 924 1,218

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

16,112 537 725 988 1,432 2,016

Bachelor's degree only

10,119 497 677 924 1,318 1,880

Advanced degree

5,993 616 826 1,146 1,639 2,368

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
2nd
2010
2nd
2011
2nd
2010
2nd
2011

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,348 24,307 $227 $226

Men, 16 years and over

8,410 8,345 223 219

16 to 24 years

3,623 3,560 177 177

25 years and over

4,787 4,785 277 263

Women, 16 years and over

15,938 15,962 228 231

16 to 24 years

4,555 4,624 162 166

25 years and over

11,382 11,338 263 271

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,174 20,163 229 229

Men

6,857 6,712 225 221

Women

13,317 13,451 230 235

Black or African American

2,595 2,487 211 206

Men

934 979 213 207

Women

1,661 1,508 211 206

Asian

922 1,027 253 260

Men

362 380 242 254

Women

560 647 260 264

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,333 3,317 233 229

Men

1,346 1,433 250 247

Women

1,987 1,883 223 218

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 19, 2011
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