Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 19, 2011                    USDL-11-0554

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 2011


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 98.3 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $755 in the first quarter of 2011 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 0.1 percent higher than a 
year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.1 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 first-quarter data are:

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $749 in the first quarter 
     of 2011, about unchanged from the previous quarter, $751. (See table 1.)

   --On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $755 in 
     the first quarter of 2011. Women who usually worked full time had median 
     earnings of $683 per week, or 82.4 percent of the $829 median for men. 
     (See table 2.)

   --The female-to-male earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women 
     earned 81.7 percent of their male counterparts, compared with black (95.0 
     percent), Asian (80.4 percent), and Hispanic women (90.4 percent). 
     (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black 
     men working at full-time jobs were $621 per week, 72.5 percent of the median 
     for white men ($856). The difference was less among women, as black women's 
     median earnings ($590) were 84.4 percent of those for white women ($699). 
     Overall, median weekly earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($549) 
     were lower than those of blacks ($604), whites ($774), and Asians ($831). 
     (See table 2.)

   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those 
     age 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $968 and 
     $975, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 to 
     64; weekly earnings were $728 for women age 35 to 44, $740 for women age 45 
     to 54, and $752 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest 
     median weekly earnings, at $448. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, 
     professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--
     $1,266 for men and $939 for women. Median weekly earnings were lowest for 
     workers in service jobs ($483). (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high 
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $444, compared with $633 for high 
     school graduates (no college) and $1,150 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 $3,336 or
     more per week, compared with $2,291 or more for their female counterparts. 
     (See table 5.)



   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  |                                                                           |
  |        Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data         |
  |                                                                           |
  | Seasonally adjusted data for median usual weekly earnings in constant     |
  | (1982-84) dollars have been updated using revised seasonally adjusted     |
  | data for the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U). (Data  |
  | are shown in table 1 of the release.) Seasonally adjusted constant        |
  | (1982-84) dollar estimates back to the first quarter of 2006 were subject |
  | to revision.                                                              |
  |                                                                           |
   ---------------------------------------------------------------------------




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 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
$

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

104,708 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

107,134 60,063 47,072 687 751 609 336 368 298

2nd Quarter

106,819 60,346 46,473 693 765 610 335 370 295

3rd Quarter

107,156 60,220 46,936 698 774 620 336 372 298

4th Quarter

108,251 60,571 47,680 700 774 614 332 368 292

2008

1st Quarter

107,740 60,328 47,412 712 782 633 335 368 297

2nd Quarter

107,061 59,588 47,473 723 801 637 335 372 296

3rd Quarter

106,088 59,246 46,841 724 803 636 331 367 291

4th Quarter

105,711 58,601 47,109 727 807 646 340 378 302

2009

1st Quarter

101,612 56,231 45,381 731 814 645 344 383 304

2nd Quarter

100,033 55,246 44,787 737 817 655 345 383 307

3rd Quarter

98,949 54,425 44,525 742 820 663 345 381 308

4th Quarter

98,702 54,534 44,168 747 825 665 345 380 307

2010

1st Quarter

98,071 54,026 44,044 747 834 662 343 383 304

2nd Quarter

99,674 55,062 44,612 744 813 674 342 374 310

3rd Quarter

100,242 55,524 44,718 745 822 668 342 377 306

4th Quarter

100,132 55,620 44,512 751 829 675 342 378 307

2011

1st Quarter

99,698 55,312 44,385 749 820 679 337 369 306

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
1st
2010
1st
2011
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
1st
2010
1st
2011
1st
2010
1st
2011

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

96,821 98,329 $754 $755 $347 $341

Men, 16 years and over

53,028 54,251 844 829 389 374

16 to 24 years

4,209 4,418 473 470 218 212

25 years and over

48,818 49,834 887 880 409 397

Women, 16 years and over

43,794 44,077 665 683 306 308

16 to 24 years

3,558 3,685 422 426 195 192

25 years and over

40,236 40,392 698 716 322 323

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

78,418 79,349 772 774 356 349

Men

44,040 44,712 869 856 400 386

Women

34,378 34,636 678 699 312 316

Black or African American

11,375 11,453 610 604 281 272

Men

5,140 5,324 635 621 293 280

Women

6,235 6,129 584 590 269 266

Asian

4,802 5,219 859 831 396 375

Men

2,670 2,952 940 948 433 428

Women

2,132 2,267 767 762 353 344

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,319 14,572 554 549 255 248

Men

8,875 8,973 589 570 271 257

Women

5,444 5,599 504 515 232 232

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, 1st quarter 2011 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

98,329 $755 54,251 $829 44,077 $683

16 to 24 years

8,103 448 4,418 470 3,685 426

16 to 19 years

673 360 396 374 277 346

20 to 24 years

7,429 459 4,021 481 3,408 437

25 years and over

90,226 791 49,834 880 40,392 716

25 to 54 years

72,190 776 40,284 856 31,906 709

25 to 34 years

23,678 683 13,463 703 10,215 658

35 to 44 years

23,579 836 13,428 933 10,152 728

45 to 54 years

24,932 854 13,393 968 11,539 740

55 years and over

18,036 863 9,550 970 8,486 741

55 to 64 years

15,297 881 8,118 975 7,179 752

65 years and over

2,739 754 1,432 898 1,307 665

White

16 years and over

79,349 774 44,712 856 34,636 699

16 to 24 years

6,475 460 3,612 482 2,862 435

25 years and over

72,874 818 41,100 902 31,774 732

25 to 54 years

57,784 801 33,002 876 24,783 725

55 years and over

15,090 898 8,098 1,009 6,991 753

Black or African American

16 years and over

11,453 604 5,324 621 6,129 590

16 to 24 years

1,053 409 515 420 538 390

25 years and over

10,400 625 4,809 657 5,591 610

25 to 54 years

8,606 618 4,037 648 4,569 604

55 years and over

1,795 677 772 718 1,023 662

Asian

16 years and over

5,219 831 2,952 948 2,267 762

16 to 24 years

307 430 157 420 149 453

25 years and over

4,912 883 2,795 987 2,118 776

25 to 54 years

4,077 913 2,311 1,021 1,766 787

55 years and over

835 772 484 798 351 703

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

14,572 549 8,973 570 5,599 515

16 to 24 years

1,642 408 1,059 411 583 403

25 years and over

12,930 577 7,914 596 5,016 538

25 to 54 years

11,390 568 7,037 581 4,353 542

55 years and over

1,540 648 876 743 663 509

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
1st
2010
1st
2011
1st
2010
1st
2011

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

39,105 39,034 $1,068 $1,072

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

15,593 15,433 1,167 1,152

Professional and related occupations

23,512 23,600 1,007 1,031

Service occupations

13,906 13,830 476 483

Sales and office occupations

22,274 22,918 632 640

Sales and related occupations

8,713 9,209 674 674

Office and administrative support occupations

13,561 13,709 619 624

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,342 9,499 736 732

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

611 764 403 427

Construction and extraction occupations

4,832 4,706 719 707

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3,900 4,029 796 821

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,194 13,048 600 608

Production occupations

6,299 7,037 602 599

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,894 6,011 598 621

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

18,874 18,767 1,268 1,266

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,469 8,263 1,407 1,368

Professional and related occupations

10,405 10,504 1,176 1,222

Service occupations

6,825 6,953 558 565

Sales and office occupations

8,469 8,878 743 736

Sales and related occupations

4,848 5,191 832 808

Office and administrative support occupations

3,621 3,687 651 640

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

8,926 9,109 742 743

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

484 601 427 453

Construction and extraction occupations

4,722 4,602 717 710

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3,720 3,905 798 823

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

9,933 10,544 637 653

Production occupations

4,778 5,239 670 655

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,155 5,305 611 650

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

20,231 20,267 915 939

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,124 7,171 974 987

Professional and related occupations

13,107 13,096 887 915

Service occupations

7,081 6,877 420 431

Sales and office occupations

13,804 14,040 594 607

Sales and related occupations

3,864 4,018 508 549

Office and administrative support occupations

9,940 10,022 612 621

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

416 390 632 446

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

127 162 342 365

Construction and extraction occupations

109 104 828 490

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

180 124 744 744

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,261 2,504 481 491

Production occupations

1,522 1,798 482 488

Transportation and material moving occupations

739 705 480 499

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, 1st quarter 2011 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

98,329 $358 $500 $755 $1,171 $1,767

Men

54,251 378 537 829 1,320 1,921

Women

44,077 339 469 683 1,022 1,502

White

79,349 367 513 774 1,204 1,812

Men

44,712 386 562 856 1,348 1,983

Women

34,636 347 480 699 1,053 1,518

Black or African American

11,453 313 416 604 927 1,351

Men

5,324 323 424 621 1,007 1,433

Women

6,129 303 408 590 841 1,237

Asian

5,219 372 532 831 1,415 1,977

Men

2,952 386 565 948 1,559 2,123

Women

2,267 351 515 762 1,168 1,833

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,572 304 388 549 850 1,271

Men

8,973 310 395 570 893 1,348

Women

5,599 296 378 515 772 1,158

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

90,226 377 526 791 1,220 1,844

Less than a high school diploma

6,737 282 339 444 605 852

High school graduates, no college(1)

24,941 345 461 633 900 1,237

Some college or associate degree

24,794 388 521 736 1,049 1,463

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

33,754 575 786 1,150 1,733 2,424

Bachelor's degree only

21,474 518 734 1,054 1,555 2,221

Advanced degree

12,279 673 925 1,336 1,900 2,884

Men, 25 years and over

49,834 396 578 880 1,370 1,993

Less than a high school diploma

4,542 293 361 487 673 936

High school graduates, no college(1)

14,784 373 500 714 1,007 1,389

Some college or associate degree

12,796 425 587 825 1,175 1,606

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

17,712 619 896 1,338 1,907 2,889

Bachelor's degree only

11,397 586 828 1,225 1,804 2,515

Advanced degree

6,315 729 1,034 1,550 2,171 3,336

Women, 25 years and over

40,392 354 492 716 1,067 1,541

Less than a high school diploma

2,196 258 309 388 511 625

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,157 319 416 555 741 986

Some college or associate degree

11,999 360 481 650 911 1,249

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

16,041 516 722 1,007 1,434 1,977

Bachelor's degree only

10,077 485 663 934 1,295 1,851

Advanced degree

5,964 618 854 1,162 1,622 2,291

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
1st
2010
1st
2011
1st
2010
1st
2011

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

25,242 24,947 $228 $231

Men, 16 years and over

8,673 8,846 224 224

16 to 24 years

3,593 3,763 169 167

25 years and over

5,080 5,083 281 284

Women, 16 years and over

16,569 16,101 231 234

16 to 24 years

4,632 4,364 161 165

25 years and over

11,937 11,737 269 269

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,982 20,639 229 232

Men

7,092 7,267 224 225

Women

13,890 13,372 231 236

Black or African American

2,568 2,637 224 227

Men

982 972 221 225

Women

1,586 1,665 227 229

Asian

919 922 257 217

Men

329 323 261 223

Women

590 599 254 212

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,732 3,721 228 223

Men

1,529 1,583 237 241

Women

2,204 2,138 222 214

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 19, 2011