Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, October 24, 2014			USDL-14-1966

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 -- THIRD QUARTER 2014


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 107.9 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $790 in the third quarter of 2014 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. This was 2.5 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 unless otherwise specified.
Highlights from the third-quarter data are:

•	Median weekly earnings were $790 in the third quarter of 2014. Women who
	usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $715, or 82.2 percent
	of the $870 median for men. (See table 2.)

•	The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White
	women earned 81.8 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared
	with black (89.5 percent), Asian (73.1 percent), and Hispanic women
	(89.6 percent). (See table 2.)

•	Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black
	men working at full-time jobs were $679 per week, or 75.8 percent of the
	median for white men ($896). The difference was less among women, as black
	women's median earnings ($608) were 82.9 percent of those for white women
	($733). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($598)
	were lower than those of blacks ($638), whites ($816), and Asians ($945).
	(See table 2.)

•	Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those
	age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, at $1,053. Usual weekly
	earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64: weekly earnings were $784 for
	women age 35 to 44, $772 for women age 45 to 54, and $787 for women age 55
	to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $480.
	(See table 3.)

•	Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management,
	professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--
	$1,326 for men and $980 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs had
	much lower earnings, $585 and $467, respectively. (See table 4.)

•	By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
	school diploma had median weekly earnings of $488, compared with $681 for
	high school graduates (no college) and $1,170 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 $3,439 or more per week, compared with $2,293 or more for their female
	counterparts. (See table 5.)

•	Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $797 in the third quarter of
	2014, up from the previous quarter ($782). (See table 1.)


 ____________________________________________________________________________
|									     |
|	Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data	     |
|									     |
|   The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the fourth quarter of 2014    |
|   will incorporate annual revisions to seasonally adjusted data for the    |
|   number of full-time wage and salary workers and median weekly earnings   |
|   in current dollars. (See table 1.) Estimates for constant (1982-84)	     |
|   dollar median weekly earnings also will be affected by revisions to the  |
|   current dollar series. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to the first   |
|   quarter of 2010 will be subject to revision.			     |
|____________________________________________________________________________|	




Technical Note


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

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

Definitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reliability

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

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

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

Seasonal adjustment

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

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

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




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

2005

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2006

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2007

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2008

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2009

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2010

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2011

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2012

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2013

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

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

3rd Quarter

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

4th Quarter

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

2014

1st Quarter

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

2nd Quarter

106,337 59,469 46,868 782 859 715 330 362 302

3rd Quarter

106,876 59,635 47,241 797 880 722 335 370 304

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


Table 2. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
3rd
2013
3rd
2014
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
3rd
2013
3rd
2014
3rd
2013
3rd
2014

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

105,459 107,855 $771 $790 $330 $332

Men, 16 years and over

58,990 60,502 847 870 362 366

16 to 24 years

5,733 5,827 452 498 193 209

25 years and over

53,257 54,676 904 920 387 386

Women, 16 years and over

46,469 47,353 698 715 299 300

16 to 24 years

4,324 4,314 414 448 177 188

25 years and over

42,146 43,038 737 750 315 315

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

83,689 85,030 794 816 340 343

Men

47,897 48,730 868 896 371 377

Women

35,791 36,299 719 733 307 308

Black or African American

12,571 13,195 630 638 270 268

Men

5,898 6,297 682 679 292 285

Women

6,672 6,898 594 608 254 255

Asian

6,141 6,307 922 945 394 397

Men

3,473 3,612 1,027 1,087 439 457

Women

2,668 2,695 795 795 340 334

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

17,480 17,625 587 598 251 251

Men

10,593 10,802 609 617 260 259

Women

6,887 6,823 553 553 236 232

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, 3rd quarter 2014 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total Men Women
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings

TOTAL

16 years and over

107,855 $790 60,502 $870 47,353 $715

16 to 24 years

10,141 480 5,827 498 4,314 448

16 to 19 years

1,340 368 809 382 531 345

20 to 24 years

8,801 496 5,018 515 3,783 469

25 years and over

97,714 839 54,676 920 43,038 750

25 to 54 years

76,506 822 43,013 894 33,494 743

25 to 34 years

26,027 720 14,899 753 11,127 668

35 to 44 years

24,927 876 14,111 960 10,816 784

45 to 54 years

25,553 890 14,002 1,004 11,551 772

55 years and over

21,208 913 11,663 1,034 9,544 778

55 to 64 years

17,627 928 9,646 1,053 7,981 787

65 years and over

3,581 823 2,017 948 1,564 689

White

16 years and over

85,030 816 48,730 896 36,299 733

16 to 24 years

8,060 487 4,697 505 3,364 454

25 years and over

76,969 865 44,033 951 32,936 767

25 to 54 years

59,576 847 34,250 918 25,326 760

55 years and over

17,394 938 9,784 1,071 7,610 793

Black or African American

16 years and over

13,195 638 6,297 679 6,898 608

16 to 24 years

1,193 424 590 421 603 429

25 years and over

12,001 669 5,707 720 6,295 631

25 to 54 years

9,750 646 4,691 683 5,059 612

55 years and over

2,252 786 1,016 835 1,236 745

Asian

16 years and over

6,307 945 3,612 1,087 2,695 795

16 to 24 years

386 581 248 672 138 418

25 years and over

5,921 978 3,364 1,142 2,557 818

25 to 54 years

4,776 1,018 2,717 1,159 2,060 866

55 years and over

1,145 803 648 968 497 644

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

17,625 598 10,802 617 6,823 553

16 to 24 years

2,176 441 1,284 462 892 420

25 years and over

15,449 622 9,518 657 5,931 588

25 to 54 years

13,420 620 8,266 655 5,154 587

55 years and over

2,029 638 1,252 668 777 595

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
3rd
2013
3rd
2014
3rd
2013
3rd
2014

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

41,679 43,476 $1,116 $1,131

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

17,082 17,816 1,179 1,225

Professional and related occupations

24,597 25,659 1,056 1,065

Service occupations

15,419 15,138 490 508

Sales and office occupations

23,379 23,316 655 665

Sales and related occupations

9,708 9,517 710 710

Office and administrative support occupations

13,671 13,798 629 646

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,886 11,284 744 755

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

856 959 462 414

Construction and extraction occupations

5,762 6,064 725 758

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,269 4,260 828 836

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,096 14,642 633 640

Production occupations

7,215 7,612 623 651

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,881 7,030 647 628

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

20,372 21,271 1,338 1,326

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,215 9,646 1,417 1,441

Professional and related occupations

11,158 11,626 1,268 1,252

Service occupations

7,730 7,494 562 585

Sales and office occupations

9,185 9,196 744 761

Sales and related occupations

5,565 5,279 805 844

Office and administrative support occupations

3,620 3,917 636 673

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,442 10,814 756 763

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

712 737 482 419

Construction and extraction occupations

5,608 5,934 733 760

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,122 4,143 832 837

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,260 11,727 685 697

Production occupations

5,265 5,658 692 724

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,994 6,069 680 663

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

21,306 22,204 962 980

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,867 8,171 1,034 1,048

Professional and related occupations

13,439 14,034 941 949

Service occupations

7,689 7,645 447 467

Sales and office occupations

14,194 14,120 615 624

Sales and related occupations

4,143 4,238 558 584

Office and administrative support occupations

10,051 9,881 627 640

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

444 469 551 486

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

144 222 396 394

Construction and extraction occupations

153 131 585 689

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

147 117 680 769

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,836 2,915 492 498

Production occupations

1,950 1,953 493 504

Transportation and material moving occupations

886 961 490 475

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, 3rd quarter 2014 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Upper limit of:
First decile First
quartile
Second
quartile
(median)
Third
quartile
Ninth
decile

SEX, RACE, AND HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY

Total, 16 years and over

107,855 $381 $521 $790 $1,241 $1,896

Men

60,502 401 577 870 1,389 2,096

Women

47,353 355 486 715 1,093 1,588

White

85,030 389 543 816 1,267 1,910

Men

48,730 409 589 896 1,422 2,119

Women

36,299 363 497 733 1,118 1,588

Black or African American

13,195 338 449 638 964 1,482

Men

6,297 349 471 679 999 1,539

Women

6,898 333 431 608 944 1,412

Asian

6,307 386 582 945 1,559 2,413

Men

3,612 413 649 1,087 1,771 2,710

Women

2,695 356 502 795 1,269 1,893

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

17,625 339 419 598 890 1,363

Men

10,802 361 446 617 932 1,440

Women

6,823 313 395 553 826 1,247

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

97,714 399 568 839 1,300 1,920

Less than a high school diploma

6,756 305 382 488 646 875

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,599 370 489 681 982 1,366

Some college or associate degree

26,861 398 533 762 1,115 1,578

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

38,498 579 792 1,170 1,800 2,584

Bachelor's degree only

24,469 527 732 1,068 1,649 2,387

Advanced degree

14,029 689 945 1,359 1,962 2,910

Men, 25 years and over

54,676 423 609 920 1,459 2,181

Less than a high school diploma

4,689 333 405 519 699 942

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,698 395 536 753 1,079 1,510

Some college or associate degree

14,218 451 609 877 1,260 1,760

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

20,070 621 899 1,366 2,041 2,912

Bachelor's degree only

12,835 584 815 1,238 1,889 2,677

Advanced degree

7,235 782 1,067 1,598 2,321 3,439

Women, 25 years and over

43,038 375 509 750 1,141 1,655

Less than a high school diploma

2,067 278 330 408 518 667

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,901 333 428 590 801 1,118

Some college or associate degree

12,643 368 484 660 940 1,298

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

18,428 523 727 1,019 1,487 2,091

Bachelor's degree only

11,634 487 667 936 1,387 1,922

Advanced degree

6,793 615 845 1,168 1,632 2,293

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
3rd
2013
3rd
2014
3rd
2013
3rd
2014

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,064 24,032 $241 $245

Men, 16 years and over

8,391 8,443 234 240

16 to 24 years

3,634 3,750 193 199

25 years and over

4,758 4,693 278 285

Women, 16 years and over

15,673 15,589 245 248

16 to 24 years

4,642 4,679 187 194

25 years and over

11,031 10,910 280 279

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,288 19,221 243 249

Men

6,578 6,553 235 244

Women

12,710 12,668 247 251

Black or African American

2,668 2,706 231 224

Men

1,074 1,103 229 217

Women

1,594 1,603 233 230

Asian

1,236 1,199 246 267

Men

408 443 225 256

Women

828 757 258 274

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,597 4,065 228 235

Men

1,463 1,559 238 251

Women

2,134 2,505 222 227

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: October 24, 2014
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