Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release


For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 20, 2010                    USDL-10-0993

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 2010


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 99.8 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $740 in the second quarter of 2010 (not seasonally adjusted), the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 0.8 percent higher 
than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.8 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 un-
less otherwise specified. Highlights from the second-quarter data are:

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $744 in the second quarter 
     of 2010, little changed from the previous quarter, $748. (See table 1.)

   --Median weekly earnings were $740 in the second quarter of 2010 (not sea-
     sonally adjusted). Women who usually worked full time had median weekly 
     earnings of $672, or 83.0 percent of the $810 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The female-to-male earnings ratio was lowest among whites (81.4 percent), 
     compared with blacks (92.6 percent), Hispanics (94.8 percent), and Asians 
     (94.8 percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median earnings for black men 
     working at full-time jobs were $632 per week, 75.4 percent of the median 
     for white men, $838. The difference was less among women, as black women's 
     median earnings ($585) were 85.8 percent of those for white women ($682). 
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($529) were 
     lower than those of blacks ($607), whites ($756), and Asians ($873). (See 
     table 2.)

   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those 
     age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $948 
     and $953, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women from 
     age 35 to 64; median weekly earnings were $731 for women age 35 to 44 and 
     age 45 to 54, essentially the same as the $730 median for women age 55 to 
     64. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in manage-
     ment, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly 
     earnings--$1,229 for men and $920 for women. Men and women employed in 
     service jobs earned the least. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high 
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $440, compared with $629 for 
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,138 for those holding at least a 
     bachelor'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 $3,297 or more per week, compared with $2,178 or more for 
     their female counterparts. (See table 5.)
    
    
    
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
  |                                                                      |
  |           Changes to the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and           |
  |                     Salary Workers News Release                      |
  |                                                                      |
  | Seasonally adjusted usual weekly earnings data are being introduced  |
  | with this news release. Table 1 contains seasonally adjusted data    |
  | for the number of full-time wage and salary workers, median weekly   |
  | earnings in current dollars, and median weekly earnings in constant  |
  | (1982-84) dollars. These data are available for total (both sexes),  |
  | men, and women. All other data presented in this release are avail-  |
  | able on a not seasonally adjusted basis only. With the addition of   |
  | seasonally adjusted data in a new table 1, unadjusted data previ-    |
  | ously presented in tables numbered 1-5 now are contained in tables   |
  | 2-6. (Note that the base period for all constant dollar series pre-  |
  | sented in this release has changed from 1982 to 1982-84.)            |
  |                                                                      |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 





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, 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
$

2001

2nd Quarter

101,167 56,731 44,435 594 665 515 336 375 291

3rd Quarter

101,096 56,910 44,186 601 685 510 338 386 287

4th Quarter

100,343 56,541 43,802 603 677 519 340 382 292

2002

1st Quarter

99,924 56,096 43,829 607 677 525 341 380 295

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

104,664 58,943 45,722 662 737 594 332 370 298

2nd Quarter

105,801 59,834 45,967 663 732 597 329 364 296

3rd Quarter

107,108 60,090 47,018 678 755 602 334 371 296

4th Quarter

106,835 60,126 46,709 682 749 609 337 370 301

2007

1st Quarter

107,049 60,034 47,015 687 752 609 336 368 298

2nd Quarter

106,842 60,354 46,488 693 764 610 335 370 295

3rd Quarter

107,257 60,269 46,988 698 773 619 335 372 297

4th Quarter

108,228 60,547 47,681 700 775 617 333 368 293

2008

1st Quarter

107,601 60,282 47,319 713 783 632 335 368 297

2nd Quarter

107,111 59,602 47,509 722 800 637 335 371 296

3rd Quarter

106,229 59,319 46,910 724 802 634 331 366 290

4th Quarter

105,677 58,567 47,110 728 808 649 341 378 304

2009

1st Quarter

101,417 56,164 45,253 731 816 644 344 384 303

2nd Quarter

100,112 55,268 44,844 736 815 655 345 382 307

3rd Quarter

99,125 54,517 44,608 741 819 661 344 380 307

4th Quarter

98,659 54,498 44,162 749 826 668 345 381 308

2010

1st Quarter

97,914 53,976 43,939 748 836 662 344 384 304

2nd Quarter

99,681 55,073 44,608 744 813 674 343 374 310

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
2009
2nd
2010
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2009
2nd
2010
2nd
2009
2nd
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

100,130 99,798 $734 $740 $342 $340

Men, 16 years and over

55,419 55,235 815 810 380 372

16 to 24 years

5,128 4,765 450 442 210 203

25 years and over

50,290 50,470 872 861 407 395

Women, 16 years and over

44,711 44,562 652 672 304 308

16 to 24 years

3,911 3,784 413 417 193 191

25 years and over

40,801 40,778 679 704 317 323

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

81,012 80,890 754 756 352 347

Men

45,921 45,771 842 838 393 384

Women

35,091 35,119 666 682 311 313

Black or African American

11,785 11,659 592 607 276 278

Men

5,436 5,431 620 632 289 290

Women

6,349 6,228 567 585 265 268

Asian

4,976 5,032 909 873 424 400

Men

2,739 2,836 969 901 452 413

Women

2,237 2,196 781 854 364 392

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,900 14,908 547 529 255 243

Men

9,265 9,275 575 542 268 249

Women

5,635 5,633 511 514 239 236

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 2010 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

99,798 $740 55,235 $810 44,562 $672

16 to 24 years

8,550 430 4,765 442 3,784 417

16 to 19 years

1,119 346 659 356 459 333

20 to 24 years

7,431 450 4,106 461 3,325 435

25 years and over

91,248 774 50,470 861 40,778 704

25 to 54 years

73,348 767 40,905 843 32,443 701

25 to 34 years

24,085 675 13,600 704 10,485 641

35 to 44 years

23,983 816 13,645 904 10,338 731

45 to 54 years

25,279 839 13,660 948 11,619 731

55 years and over

17,901 821 9,565 937 8,335 712

55 to 64 years

15,142 842 7,987 953 7,155 730

65 years and over

2,758 681 1,578 796 1,180 599

White

16 years and over

80,890 756 45,771 838 35,119 682

16 to 24 years

7,015 436 3,976 449 3,039 421

25 years and over

73,874 798 41,795 888 32,079 715

25 to 54 years

58,780 785 33,590 869 25,191 711

55 years and over

15,094 848 8,206 968 6,888 729

Black or African American

16 years and over

11,659 607 5,431 632 6,228 585

16 to 24 years

1,001 402 472 409 529 396

25 years and over

10,658 631 4,959 657 5,699 604

25 to 54 years

8,884 629 4,168 655 4,716 600

55 years and over

1,774 638 792 678 983 617

Asian

16 years and over

5,032 873 2,836 901 2,196 854

16 to 24 years

292 459 166 423 126 623

25 years and over

4,740 910 2,670 951 2,070 876

25 to 54 years

3,997 937 2,230 999 1,767 886

55 years and over

744 768 440 768 303 767

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

14,908 529 9,275 542 5,633 514

16 to 24 years

1,666 401 1,068 403 599 395

25 years and over

13,242 561 8,207 577 5,035 535

25 to 54 years

11,669 559 7,302 574 4,367 533

55 years and over

1,573 575 906 592 667 545

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
2009
2nd
2010
2nd
2009
2nd
2010

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

38,820 38,759 $1,046 $1,050

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

15,634 15,501 1,145 1,141

Professional and related occupations

23,186 23,257 994 999

Service occupations

14,530 14,870 468 486

Sales and office occupations

23,747 23,406 622 623

Sales and related occupations

9,575 9,080 665 662

Office and administrative support occupations

14,172 14,326 607 612

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,469 10,120 707 712

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

736 777 440 410

Construction and extraction occupations

5,325 5,141 702 694

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,407 4,202 763 791

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,564 12,644 611 612

Production occupations

6,453 6,639 622 608

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,111 6,005 595 618

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

18,979 18,920 1,250 1,229

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,630 8,484 1,342 1,334

Professional and related occupations

10,348 10,436 1,188 1,164

Service occupations

7,225 7,709 520 533

Sales and office occupations

9,078 8,802 726 720

Sales and related occupations

5,349 4,947 782 826

Office and administrative support occupations

3,729 3,856 638 616

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,021 9,712 716 722

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

589 610 455 425

Construction and extraction occupations

5,192 5,035 704 698

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,240 4,066 772 795

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

10,115 10,092 656 656

Production occupations

4,774 4,910 696 673

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,341 5,182 616 643

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

19,841 19,838 900 920

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,004 7,017 968 958

Professional and related occupations

12,838 12,821 862 902

Service occupations

7,305 7,161 419 433

Sales and office occupations

14,669 14,604 589 595

Sales and related occupations

4,226 4,133 541 521

Office and administrative support occupations

10,442 10,470 599 611

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

448 408 548 540

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

147 167 394 372

Construction and extraction occupations

133 106 629 587

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

167 135 563 697

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,448 2,551 478 465

Production occupations

1,679 1,729 479 469

Transportation and material moving occupations

769 822 476 451

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 2010 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

99,798 $353 $492 $740 $1,150 $1,743

Men

55,235 377 517 810 1,264 1,910

Women

44,562 333 458 672 1,000 1,462

White

80,890 358 501 756 1,169 1,774

Men

45,771 382 530 838 1,310 1,971

Women

35,119 336 468 682 1,012 1,498

Black or African American

11,659 317 422 607 907 1,258

Men

5,431 324 441 632 946 1,346

Women

6,228 312 411 585 863 1,214

Asian

5,032 386 554 873 1,438 2,107

Men

2,836 398 579 901 1,549 2,307

Women

2,196 371 525 854 1,269 1,898

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,908 305 387 529 798 1,264

Men

9,275 315 397 542 835 1,356

Women

5,633 292 365 514 748 1,154

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

91,248 378 518 774 1,188 1,792

Less than a high school diploma

7,356 280 341 440 603 823

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,885 344 451 629 902 1,216

Some college or associate degree

25,030 389 521 737 1,049 1,455

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

32,976 551 763 1,138 1,689 2,424

Bachelor's degree only

21,069 511 713 1,032 1,533 2,285

Advanced degree

11,907 657 903 1,341 1,909 2,876

Men, 25 years and over

50,470 398 568 861 1,338 1,988

Less than a high school diploma

5,038 293 371 485 662 903

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,074 381 503 714 998 1,350

Some college or associate degree

13,008 423 590 846 1,174 1,622

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

17,350 583 848 1,311 1,914 2,891

Bachelor's degree only

11,069 531 771 1,171 1,764 2,681

Advanced degree

6,281 687 975 1,546 2,282 3,297

Women, 25 years and over

40,778 352 484 704 1,043 1,512

Less than a high school diploma

2,319 251 309 377 495 614

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,811 315 401 542 741 992

Some college or associate degree

12,022 363 482 645 895 1,221

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

15,626 524 716 993 1,417 1,915

Bachelor's degree only

10,000 496 658 920 1,283 1,761

Advanced degree

5,627 634 838 1,158 1,622 2,178

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
2009
2nd
2010
2nd
2009
2nd
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,705 24,348 $225 $227

Men, 16 years and over

8,318 8,410 219 223

16 to 24 years

3,676 3,623 169 177

25 years and over

4,642 4,787 278 277

Women, 16 years and over

16,387 15,938 230 228

16 to 24 years

4,811 4,555 159 162

25 years and over

11,576 11,382 269 263

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,785 20,174 226 229

Men

6,927 6,857 220 225

Women

13,858 13,317 230 230

Black or African American

2,401 2,595 213 211

Men

809 934 196 213

Women

1,592 1,661 223 211

Asian

887 922 266 253

Men

346 362 289 242

Women

542 560 248 260

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,332 3,333 224 233

Men

1,303 1,346 227 250

Women

2,028 1,987 223 223

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 20, 2010
Recommend this page using: