Economic News Release

Usual Weekly Earnings Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Friday, January 22, 2016                     USDL-16-0111

Technical information: (202) 691-6378  •  •
Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  •

                                 FOURTH QUARTER 2015

Median weekly earnings of the nation's 109.9 million full-time wage and salary
workers were $825 in the fourth quarter of 2015 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 3.3 percent higher than a year
earlier, compared with a gain of 0.5 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 (CPS), 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 news release are not seasonally adjusted
unless otherwise specified. Highlights from the fourth-quarter data are:

   --Median weekly earnings were $825 in the fourth quarter of 2015. Women who
     usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $729, or 80.4 percent
     of the $907 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White
     women earned 80.0 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with
     92.1 percent for black women, 80.1 percent for Asian women, and 83.9 percent
     for Hispanic women. (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black
     men working at full-time jobs were $674 per week, or 72.4 percent of the
     median for white men ($931). The difference was less among women, as black
     women's median earnings ($621) were 83.4 percent of those for white women
     ($745). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics ($624) and blacks ($643) who
     worked full time were lower than those of whites ($847) and Asians ($1,091).
     (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 $1,119. Weekly
     earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64: weekly earnings were $837
     for women age 35 to 44, $797 for women age 45 to 54, and $775 for women
     age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings,
     at $502. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in
     management, professional, and related occupations had the highest
     median weekly earnings, $1,423 for men and $1,010 for women. Men and
     women employed in service occupations earned the least, $607 and $471,
     respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without
     a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $502, compared with
     $690 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,245 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 $3,878 or more per week, compared with
     $2,486 or more for their female counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $820 in the fourth quarter
     of 2015, little changed from the previous quarter ($811). (See table 1.)

Annual Averages for 2014 and 2015

In addition to the data for the fourth quarter, this news release includes 2014 and
2015 annual averages of median weekly earnings for major demographic and occupational
groups, and 2015 annual average data for educational attainment groups. (See tables 7,
8, and 9.) Annual average data on median usual weekly earnings for men and women by
detailed occupational categories will be posted online at
when they become available.

  |                                                                                  |
  |          Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data              |
  |                                                                                  |
  |Seasonally adjusted median usual weekly earnings data shown in table 1 of this    |
  |news release have been revised using updated seasonal adjustment factors from     |
  |the Current Population Survey, a procedure done at the end of each calendar       |
  |year. The revisions directly affected the number of full-time wage and salary     |
  |workers and current dollar estimates of median weekly earnings; estimates of      |
  |constant (1982-84) dollar median weekly earnings were indirectly affected.        |
  |Seasonally adjusted estimates back to the first quarter of 2011 were subject      |
  |to revision.                                                                      |
  |                                                                                  |
  |The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the first quarter of 2016, scheduled   |
  |for release on April 19, 2016, will incorporate revisions to the seasonally       |
  |adjusted data for the median weekly earnings in constant (1982-84) dollars.       |
  |Seasonally adjusted constant (1982-84) dollar estimates back to the first quarter |
  |of 2011 will be subject to revision due to annual revisions to seasonally adjusted|
  |data for the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).                |

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Last Modified Date: January 22, 2016
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