Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, April 15, 2010                 USDL-10-0468

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
                                     FIRST QUARTER 2010


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 96.8 million full-time wage and salary
workers were $754 in the first quarter of 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Sta-
tistics reported today. This was 2.2 percent higher than a year earlier, com-
pared with a gain of 2.4 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Con-
sumers (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.) Highlights from the first-quarter data are:

   --Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $665 per week,
     or 78.8 percent of the $844 median for men. The female-to-male earnings
     ratios were higher among blacks (92.0 percent) and Hispanics (85.6 per-
     cent) than among whites (78.0 percent) or Asians (81.6 percent). (See
     table 1.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median earnings for black men
     working at full-time jobs were $635 per week, 73.1 percent of the median
     for white men ($869). The difference was less among women, as black women's
     median earnings ($584) were 86.1 percent of those for white women ($678).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($554) were
     lower than those of blacks ($610), whites ($772), and Asians ($859). (See
     table 1.)

   --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, $972
     and $980, respectively. Among women, weekly earnings also were highest for
     those two age groups, $736 and $733, respectively. (See table 2.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in manage-
     ment, possessional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly
     earnings--$1,268 for men and $915 for women. Persons employed in service
     jobs earned the least. (See table 3.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $448, compared with $624 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,140 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 $3,319 or more per week, compared with $2,277 or more
     for their female counterparts. (See table 4.)


    _____________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                             |
   |            Upcoming Changes to the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage            |
   |                      and Salary Workers News Release                        |
   |                                                                             |
   |Effective with the release of data for the second quarter of 2010 on July 20,|
   |the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will introduce seasonally adjusted data  |
   |in the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers news release. A new  |
   |table will provide 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 will be available  |
   |for total (both sexes), men, and women. The new table will appear as table 1 |
   |in the news release; the existing tables will be renumbered.                 |
   |                                                                             |
   |_____________________________________________________________________________|




Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey (CPS), which provides the 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 house-
holds, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The earnings data are collected from one-quarter of the CPS monthly
sample and are limited to wages and salaries.  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.

   For a full discussion of the reliability of data from the CPS and
information on estimating standard errors, see the Household Data
section of the "Explanatory Notes and Estimates of Error" available on
the BLS Web site at http://www.bls.gov/cps/eetech_methods.pdf.

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 estimating 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 re-
lative 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,
$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) 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.




Table 1. 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
1st
2009
1st
2010
In current dollars In constant (1982) dollars
1st
2009
1st
2010
1st
2009
1st
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

100,370 96,821 $738 $754 $336 $335

Men, 16 years and over

55,231 53,028 823 844 375 375

16 to 24 years

5,009 4,209 461 473 210 210

25 years and over

50,222 48,818 879 887 400 394

Women, 16 years and over

45,139 43,794 649 665 295 296

16 to 24 years

4,010 3,558 448 422 204 188

25 years and over

41,128 40,236 679 698 309 311

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

81,201 78,418 758 772 345 343

Men

45,882 44,040 855 869 389 386

Women

35,319 34,378 666 678 303 301

Black or African American

12,023 11,375 577 610 263 271

Men

5,448 5,140 595 635 271 282

Women

6,575 6,235 559 584 254 260

Asian

4,828 4,802 869 859 396 382

Men

2,662 2,670 951 940 433 418

Women

2,166 2,132 773 767 352 341

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,497 14,319 545 554 248 246

Men

9,125 8,875 577 589 263 262

Women

5,372 5,444 510 504 232 224

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 2. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex, 1st 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

96,821 $754 53,028 $844 43,794 $665

16 to 24 years

7,767 443 4,209 473 3,558 422

16 to 19 years

715 356 423 349 293 377

20 to 24 years

7,052 457 3,787 489 3,265 427

25 years and over

89,054 787 48,818 887 40,236 698

25 to 54 years

71,752 778 39,640 869 32,112 698

25 to 34 years

23,424 691 13,084 739 10,339 641

35 to 44 years

23,338 826 13,247 928 10,091 726

45 to 54 years

24,991 852 13,310 972 11,682 736

55 years and over

17,302 834 9,178 964 8,124 701

55 to 64 years

14,760 866 7,808 980 6,952 733

65 years and over

2,541 662 1,370 820 1,171 566

White

16 years and over

78,418 772 44,040 869 34,378 678

16 to 24 years

6,316 455 3,517 484 2,799 428

25 years and over

72,102 813 40,523 913 31,579 716

25 to 54 years

57,530 803 32,639 893 24,891 717

55 years and over

14,573 866 7,884 990 6,689 712

Black or African American

16 years and over

11,375 610 5,140 635 6,235 584

16 to 24 years

965 395 426 403 539 380

25 years and over

10,410 635 4,714 661 5,697 611

25 to 54 years

8,705 628 3,950 651 4,755 607

55 years and over

1,705 679 764 736 941 633

Asian

16 years and over

4,802 859 2,670 940 2,132 767

16 to 24 years

243 424 131 496 112 412

25 years and over

4,559 882 2,539 955 2,019 789

25 to 54 years

3,827 896 2,149 971 1,678 791

55 years and over

732 785 390 790 342 783

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

14,319 554 8,875 589 5,444 504

16 to 24 years

1,538 390 970 387 568 396

25 years and over

12,781 583 7,905 611 4,876 522

25 to 54 years

11,213 581 6,977 606 4,236 521

55 years and over

1,568 598 928 664 640 526

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 occupation and sex, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Occupation and sex Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
1st
2009
1st
2010
1st
2009
1st
2010

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

39,353 39,105 $1,046 $1,068

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

16,373 15,593 1,146 1,167

Professional and related occupations

22,981 23,512 990 1,007

Service occupations

13,967 13,906 457 476

Sales and office occupations

23,566 22,274 622 632

Sales and related occupations

9,386 8,713 666 674

Office and administrative support occupations

14,180 13,561 611 619

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,329 9,342 730 736

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

623 611 411 403

Construction and extraction occupations

5,293 4,832 720 719

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,413 3,900 790 796

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

13,154 12,194 597 600

Production occupations

6,817 6,299 590 602

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,338 5,894 603 598

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

19,073 18,874 1,258 1,268

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,884 8,469 1,358 1,407

Professional and related occupations

10,189 10,405 1,183 1,176

Service occupations

6,737 6,825 516 558

Sales and office occupations

8,926 8,469 748 743

Sales and related occupations

5,173 4,848 834 832

Office and administrative support occupations

3,753 3,621 664 651

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,930 8,926 736 742

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

499 484 413 427

Construction and extraction occupations

5,186 4,722 720 717

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,245 3,720 791 798

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

10,566 9,933 643 637

Production occupations

5,026 4,778 657 670

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,540 5,155 625 611

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

20,281 20,231 907 915

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,489 7,124 952 974

Professional and related occupations

12,792 13,107 879 887

Service occupations

7,230 7,081 411 420

Sales and office occupations

14,640 13,804 587 594

Sales and related occupations

4,213 3,864 513 508

Office and administrative support occupations

10,427 9,940 601 612

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

399 416 566 632

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

124 127 404 342

Construction and extraction occupations

107 109 696 828

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

168 180 743 744

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,588 2,261 452 481

Production occupations

1,790 1,522 450 482

Transportation and material moving occupations

798 739 456 480

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


Table 4. Quartiles and selected deciles of usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, 1st 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

96,821 $356 $499 $754 $1,161 $1,774

Men

53,028 382 545 844 1,327 1,990

Women

43,794 333 458 665 999 1,459

White

78,418 363 511 772 1,188 1,851

Men

44,040 389 568 869 1,362 2,065

Women

34,378 336 470 678 1,019 1,477

Black or African American

11,375 326 427 610 911 1,290

Men

5,140 340 452 635 983 1,400

Women

6,235 316 415 584 853 1,215

Asian

4,802 375 538 859 1,395 2,004

Men

2,670 382 592 940 1,571 2,283

Women

2,132 364 492 767 1,205 1,744

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,319 298 383 554 825 1,235

Men

8,875 310 398 589 893 1,380

Women

5,444 282 357 504 737 1,044

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

89,054 377 523 787 1,207 1,859

Less than a high school diploma

6,762 271 338 448 608 822

High school graduates, no college(1)

24,601 344 453 624 897 1,242

Some college or associate degree

24,076 386 522 738 1,044 1,442

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

33,615 550 777 1,140 1,729 2,478

Bachelor's degree only

21,714 510 725 1,024 1,535 2,163

Advanced degree

11,900 667 929 1,361 1,918 2,898

Men, 25 years and over

48,818 402 584 887 1,379 2,075

Less than a high school diploma

4,422 294 372 494 680 908

High school graduates, no college(1)

14,191 377 501 710 1,001 1,427

Some college or associate degree

12,376 437 601 850 1,169 1,616

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

17,829 612 887 1,333 1,916 2,890

Bachelor's degree only

11,445 573 824 1,168 1,801 2,503

Advanced degree

6,384 740 1,059 1,570 2,295 3,319

Women, 25 years and over

40,236 347 483 698 1,038 1,501

Less than a high school diploma

2,340 231 297 383 501 633

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,410 317 408 551 739 997

Some college or associate degree

11,700 355 479 642 892 1,202

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

15,786 502 701 978 1,405 1,902

Bachelor's degree only

10,269 477 641 895 1,265 1,760

Advanced degree

5,516 598 840 1,160 1,611 2,277

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 5. 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
1st
2009
1st
2010
1st
2009
1st
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,180 25,242 $222 $228

Men, 16 years and over

8,007 8,673 218 224

16 to 24 years

3,429 3,593 165 169

25 years and over

4,578 5,080 272 281

Women, 16 years and over

16,173 16,569 225 231

16 to 24 years

4,671 4,632 156 161

25 years and over

11,502 11,937 269 269

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,264 20,982 223 229

Men

6,532 7,092 217 224

Women

13,732 13,890 226 231

Black or African American

2,342 2,568 221 224

Men

858 982 219 221

Women

1,484 1,586 222 227

Asian

954 919 234 257

Men

365 329 255 261

Women

589 590 221 254

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,296 3,732 224 228

Men

1,189 1,529 244 237

Women

2,108 2,204 212 222

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: April 15, 2010