New York-New Jersey Information Office

News Release Information


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Technical information:
Media contact:
  • Martin Kohli (646) 264-3620

Average Earnings and Hours in New York – April, 2012

Average weekly earnings for all employees on private sector payrolls in New York State rose to $932.62 in April 2012, an increase of $36.38 or 4.1 percent from the previous April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. (See chart 1.) Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown pointed out that the percentage increase in average weekly earnings in April 2012 was larger than the 1.5-percent gain one year earlier. The change in weekly earnings reflected a 4.1-percent increase in hourly earnings and a workweek that was unchanged at 34.0 hours. Nationwide, from April 2011 to April 2012, average weekly earnings in the United States rose 3.7 percent to $818.29. (All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

Chart 1. 12-month percent change in avearge weekly earnings for employees, New York City, New York-Northern New Jersey, New York State and United States, April 2011 and 2012

New York industries

Earnings. In April 2012, information recorded the highest average weekly earnings for all employees at $1,450.12, followed by financial activities ($1,385.69), professional and business services ($1,247.72), and construction ($1,237.29). (See table 1.) On an hourly basis, earnings for all employees in information averaged $41.08, also ranking first among New York's private industry supersectors, followed by financial activities ($37.35) and professional and business services ($34.95).

Several industry supersectors made key contributions to New York's over-the-year increase in average weekly earnings. The weekly wage in financial activities rose 8.5 percent or $108.58. Three other sectors—information, manufacturing, and professional and business services—had wage growth of more than 4.0 percent. Leisure and hospitality was the only supersector to register a decline in its weekly wage in the state, down 1.6 percent.

Nationally, all nine private industry supersectors recorded higher average weekly earnings, led by financial activities, with an 8.5-percent gain. Professional and business services was the only other industry with an increase of more than 4.0 percent. Five of the other seven supersectors registered increases ranging from 3.8 to 2.9 percent. (See chart 2.) Changes in earnings in national industries are available at

Chart 2. Over-the-year changes in avaerage weekly earnings, by supersector, New York State and United States, April 2011-April 2012

Hours. Among all private industry supersectors in New York, manufacturing reported the longest average workweek in April 2012, 39.1 hours. (See table 2.) Construction and financial activities had the next highest weekly average, 37.1 hours, followed by professional and business services, 35.7. Leisure and hospitality had the shortest workweek at 27.4 hours and was the only industry with an average workweek under 30 hours.

Over the year, five of nine New York supersectors recorded a rise in average hours for all employees, with information posting the largest increase, 0.7 hour. Professional and business services and trade, transportation, and utilities followed with gains of 0.6 and 0.4 hour, respectively. On the other hand, four supersectors experienced a 0.4- to 0.8-hour reduction in average weekly hours compared to one year earlier. Nationally, all supersectors except for other services registered a lengthier workweek, with financial activities registering the largest increase, 0.8 hour.

New York metropolitan areas

Earnings. Among the 12 metropolitan statistical areas in New York, weekly earnings for all employees ranged from $1,006.02 in New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island to $598.75 in Elmira. (See table 3.) Besides New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, four other metropolitan areas in the state had weekly averages that exceeded $800—Albany-Schenectady-Troy, Binghamton, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, and Ithaca. On an hourly basis, earnings in the New York metropolitan area also ranked first averaging $29.16. Albany-Schenectagy-Troy, Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, and Binghamton all averaged above $24.00.

Over the year, average weekly earnings rose in 11 metropolitan areas, led by Ithaca, up $158.71, or 23.7 percent. Albany-Schenectady-Troy had the second largest increase, up $117.82 or 14.1 percent. On an hourly basis, earnings in Albany-Schenectady-Troy rose 12.4 percent and in Ithaca, 11.3 percent.

Syracuse was the only metropolitan area to experience a decline in average weekly earnings, down $24.35 or 3.0 percent. On an hourly basis, three areas registered a drop in earnings, the largest occurring in Elmira, down $ 0.37 or 2.0 percent. Syracuse also recorded a decline in hourly earnings, making it the only area to experience a decline in both measures.

Hours. Average weekly hours for all employees ranged from 36.1 in Ithaca to 32.0 in Utica-Rome. (See table 4.) In addition to Ithaca, Binghamton was the only other metropolitan area with a workweek of at least 35 hours. Three other areas—Albany-Schenectady-Troy, New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, and Syracuse—posted workweeks above 34 hours. From April a year ago, average hours rose in 7 of the 12 areas, with Ithaca recording the largest increase, up 3.6 hours, followed by Elmira, up 3.0 hours. Buffalo-Niagara Falls had the largest drop in hours worked, down 1.1 hours. (See chart 3.)

State comparisons

Earnings. In April 2012, the District of Columbia, with average weekly earnings of $1,341.21, ranked first in the nation. Connecticut followed, averaging $977.89, thenWashington ($965.89), Massachusetts ($939.23), and California ($935.99) to round out the top five. New York ranked sixth. At the bottom of the ranking were South Dakota ($676.08), West Virginia ($670.46), and Arkansas ($631.45). The District of Columbia also had the highest hourly wage for all employees at $37.05; New York placed fifth.

Over the year, New York was 1 of 42 states and the District of Columbia with an increase in average weekly earnings. For average hourly earnings, 43 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia experienced an over-the-year increase in April 2012.

Hours. The average workweek for all private sector employees in New York was 34.0 hours, ranking 40th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. (See table 5.) Fifteen states and the District of Columbia had average work weeks of at least 35.0 hours, compared to 12 states in April 2011. New York was the only state to experience no change in average weekly hours over the 12-month period; 33 states and the District of Columbia recorded increases.

Technical Note

The Current Employment Statistics (CES) Survey, conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is a monthly survey of more than 400,000 business establishments. The BLS recently expanded payroll and hours measures derived from the Current Employment Statistics survey to cover all employees of private nonfarm establishments for the nation, each state, and more than 400 metropolitan areas.

National estimates of hours and earnings for all employees were first published as experimental series in March 2007, and these series became official CES estimates in 2010.

State and area estimates of all-employee payroll were first published in March 2010. All-employee hours and earnings data are available for 1) all statewide supersectors (major industry divisions) that have sufficient sample, and for 2) each Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) at the total private-industry level. These series start in January 2007. State and area hours and earnings data are not seasonally adjusted.

The new data series cover all paid, private-sector employees, including production and supervisory employees. Respondents report total hours for which all employees received pay for the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. Total hours during the pay period include all hours worked (including overtimehours) and hours paid for holidays, vacations, and sick leave. The concept of total hours differs from scheduled hours worked. The average weekly hours reflects effects of numerous factors such as unpaid absenteeism, labor turnover, part-time work, strikes, and fluctuations in work schedules for economic reasons. Manufacturing firms also report total overtime hours for employees who receive overtime premiums for hours beyond their regular hours.

Total gross pay earned during the entire pay period (before deductions) is also reported. Included in the payroll reports is pay for overtime, vacations, holidays and sick leave paid directly by the firm. Bonuses, commissions, and other non-wage cash payments are excluded unless they are earned and paid regularly—at least once a month. Employee benefits paid by the employer, tips, and payments in kind also are excluded. Average weekly earnings are the product of average weekly hours and average hourly earnings. For more information about data collection and survey methodology, see

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

Table 1. Average earnings of all employees on private nonfarm payrolls by industry, New York State, not seasonally adjusted
Industry Average weekly earnings Average hourly earnings
2012 (P)
April 2011 to
April 2012 (P)
2012 (P)
April 2011 to
April 2012 (P)

Total private

$896.24 $932.62 $36.38 4.1 $26.36 $27.43 $1.07 4.1


1,195.88 1,237.29 41.41 3.5 31.89 33.35 1.46 4.6


952.41 1,015.43 63.02 6.6 23.93 25.97 2.04 8.5

Trade, transportation, and utilities

753.23 772.42 19.19 2.5 21.96 22.26 0.30 1.4


1,353.21 1,450.12 96.91 7.2 39.11 41.08 1.97 5.0

Financial activities

1,277.11 1,385.69 108.58 8.5 34.61 37.35 2.74 7.9

Professional and business services

1,195.86 1,247.72 51.86 4.3 34.07 34.95 0.88 2.6

Education and health services

764.27 780.05 15.78 2.1 23.23 24.15 0.92 4.0

Leisure and hospitality

469.83 462.51 -7.32 -1.6 17.21 16.88 -0.33 -1.9

Other services

710.68 736.81 26.13 3.7 21.80 23.17 1.37 6.3

(P) Preliminary