Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, October 20, 2016                    USDL-16-2025

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 2016


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 112.8 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $827 in the third quarter of 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. This was 3.0 percent higher than a year earlier,
compared with a gain of 1.1 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
in this news release.) Data shown in this release are not seasonally adjusted unless
otherwise specified. Highlights from the third-quarter data are:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $827 in the third quarter of
     2016. Women had median weekly earnings of $745, or 81.8 percent of the $911
     median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women
     earned 81.5 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black
     women (87.3 percent), Asian women (75.0 percent), and Hispanic women (88.9
     percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black
     men  working at full-time jobs were $732, or 78.5 percent of the median for
     White men ($932). The difference was less among women, as Black women's
     median earnings ($639) were 84.1 percent of those for White women ($760).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($632) were
     lower than those of Blacks ($685), Whites ($854), and Asians ($1,010).
     (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 $1,117. For women,
     usual weekly earnings were highest for those ages 45 to 54 ($842) and 35
     to 44 ($827). Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings,
     at $497. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management,
     professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--
     $1,408 for men and $1,024 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $592 and $485, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $504, compared with $700 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,266 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 $3,722 or more per week, compared with $2,416 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $834 in the third quarter
     of 2016, little changed from the previous quarter ($828). (See table 1.)


    ___________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                          |
   |        Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data        |
   |                                                                          |
   |The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the fourth quarter of 2016 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 2012   |
   |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
$

2007

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

98,143 54,098 44,045 748 836 662 344 384 304

2nd Quarter

99,605 55,028 44,577 742 814 671 342 374 309

3rd Quarter

100,412 55,620 44,792 746 821 670 342 377 308

4th Quarter

99,958 55,486 44,472 750 826 676 341 376 308

2011

1st Quarter

99,670 55,337 44,333 750 821 679 338 370 306

2nd Quarter

100,347 55,821 44,526 754 830 687 336 370 306

3rd Quarter

100,495 56,046 44,449 760 836 681 336 370 301

4th Quarter

101,337 56,687 44,650 760 838 686 335 369 302

2012

1st Quarter

102,150 57,109 45,041 764 841 693 335 368 303

2nd Quarter

102,510 57,065 45,445 772 870 687 337 380 300

3rd Quarter

102,632 57,219 45,413 766 836 693 333 364 302

4th Quarter

103,727 57,770 45,957 772 868 691 333 375 298

2013

1st Quarter

103,886 57,896 45,989 768 860 699 331 370 301

2nd Quarter

103,947 57,909 46,037 777 866 706 335 373 304

3rd Quarter

104,515 58,128 46,387 779 855 706 334 367 303

4th Quarter

104,733 58,064 46,669 782 862 712 334 368 304

2014

1st Quarter

105,544 58,692 46,852 790 865 716 335 367 304

2nd Quarter

106,351 59,476 46,875 782 861 715 330 364 302

3rd Quarter

106,892 59,618 47,273 798 879 722 336 370 304

4th Quarter

107,336 60,025 47,310 794 876 723 335 369 305

2015

1st Quarter

108,377 60,386 47,991 801 887 723 340 377 307

2nd Quarter

108,597 60,409 48,188 804 891 726 339 376 306

3rd Quarter

109,459 61,073 48,386 811 898 728 341 378 306

4th Quarter

109,894 61,119 48,776 820 901 728 344 378 306

2016

1st Quarter

110,322 61,629 48,693 823 904 743 346 380 312

2nd Quarter

110,996 61,837 49,159 828 913 744 346 382 311

3rd Quarter

111,725 62,179 49,546 834 919 751 347 382 312

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
2015
3rd
2016
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
3rd
2015
3rd
2016
3rd
2015
3rd
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

110,446 112,784 $803 $827 $337 $343

Men, 16 years and over

61,974 63,104 889 911 373 378

16 to 24 years

5,992 6,181 517 510 217 212

25 years and over

55,982 56,924 946 971 397 403

Women, 16 years and over

48,472 49,680 721 745 303 309

16 to 24 years

4,598 4,919 442 480 185 199

25 years and over

43,874 44,761 762 785 320 326

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

86,280 87,781 829 854 348 354

Men

49,662 50,231 919 932 386 387

Women

36,617 37,550 740 760 311 316

Black or African American

13,842 14,210 624 685 262 284

Men

6,582 6,849 652 732 274 304

Women

7,260 7,360 608 639 255 265

Asian

6,807 7,136 974 1,010 409 419

Men

3,813 3,961 1,133 1,154 476 479

Women

2,994 3,176 818 865 343 359

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,606 19,278 602 632 253 262

Men

11,367 11,892 624 667 262 277

Women

7,238 7,385 568 593 238 246

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 2016 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

112,784 $827 63,104 $911 49,680 $745

16 to 24 years

11,100 497 6,181 510 4,919 480

16 to 19 years

1,763 401 1,045 414 717 382

20 to 24 years

9,337 510 5,135 523 4,202 494

25 years and over

101,684 886 56,924 971 44,761 785

25 to 54 years

78,893 874 44,364 943 34,529 782

25 to 34 years

27,787 758 15,686 804 12,101 709

35 to 44 years

25,288 921 14,421 993 10,867 827

45 to 54 years

25,818 955 14,257 1,060 11,561 842

55 years and over

22,791 934 12,559 1,095 10,232 793

55 to 64 years

18,532 951 10,112 1,117 8,421 806

65 years and over

4,258 834 2,448 966 1,811 721

White

16 years and over

87,781 854 50,231 932 37,550 760

16 to 24 years

8,643 505 4,986 517 3,657 489

25 years and over

79,138 909 45,245 992 33,893 805

25 to 54 years

60,598 894 34,810 964 25,788 799

55 years and over

18,540 970 10,434 1,134 8,105 820

Black or African American

16 years and over

14,210 685 6,849 732 7,360 639

16 to 24 years

1,426 418 662 448 764 400

25 years and over

12,783 724 6,187 765 6,596 682

25 to 54 years

10,331 719 5,015 751 5,316 686

55 years and over

2,452 742 1,172 844 1,280 666

Asian

16 years and over

7,136 1,010 3,961 1,154 3,176 865

16 to 24 years

538 580 258 591 280 554

25 years and over

6,599 1,077 3,703 1,208 2,896 924

25 to 54 years

5,239 1,137 2,987 1,241 2,252 976

55 years and over

1,360 875 716 1,101 644 714

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

19,278 632 11,892 667 7,385 593

16 to 24 years

2,500 488 1,497 496 1,004 476

25 years and over

16,777 675 10,396 699 6,381 617

25 to 54 years

14,354 669 8,921 697 5,433 611

55 years and over

2,423 709 1,474 716 948 696

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
2015
3rd
2016
3rd
2015
3rd
2016

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

44,614 46,081 $1,165 $1,195

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

18,289 19,268 1,261 1,298

Professional and related occupations

26,325 26,813 1,126 1,140

Service occupations

15,882 16,759 504 520

Sales and office occupations

24,027 23,839 670 699

Sales and related occupations

9,902 9,840 732 744

Office and administrative support occupations

14,124 14,000 646 679

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

11,199 11,612 734 767

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

937 990 464 517

Construction and extraction occupations

6,005 6,387 721 767

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,256 4,235 868 850

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,725 14,492 666 677

Production occupations

7,622 7,473 665 675

Transportation and material moving occupations

7,103 7,019 668 679

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,070 22,638 1,381 1,408

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,930 10,473 1,436 1,475

Professional and related occupations

12,140 12,165 1,345 1,352

Service occupations

7,685 8,264 571 592

Sales and office occupations

9,567 9,526 771 806

Sales and related occupations

5,548 5,479 866 903

Office and administrative support occupations

4,020 4,046 679 714

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,755 11,085 742 775

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

745 789 478 558

Construction and extraction occupations

5,871 6,217 721 768

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,139 4,079 864 853

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,897 11,592 712 722

Production occupations

5,707 5,555 739 738

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,190 6,037 690 708

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,544 23,444 1,000 1,024

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,359 8,795 1,071 1,088

Professional and related occupations

14,185 14,648 970 997

Service occupations

8,197 8,495 465 485

Sales and office occupations

14,459 14,314 628 648

Sales and related occupations

4,355 4,360 599 591

Office and administrative support occupations

10,105 9,953 639 666

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

444 527 588 586

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

192 201 445 440

Construction and extraction occupations

134 171 720 692

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

117 155 917 723

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,828 2,900 518 521

Production occupations

1,916 1,918 518 519

Transportation and material moving occupations

913 982 515 524

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 2016 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

112,784 $395 $546 $827 $1,338 $1,985

Men

63,104 416 593 911 1,470 2,191

Women

49,680 375 504 745 1,152 1,760

White

87,781 403 565 854 1,361 2,000

Men

50,231 424 604 932 1,494 2,202

Women

37,550 382 515 760 1,171 1,766

Black or African American

14,210 353 473 685 989 1,554

Men

6,849 379 495 732 1,063 1,701

Women

7,360 339 431 639 916 1,492

Asian

7,136 420 609 1,010 1,702 2,419

Men

3,961 460 687 1,154 1,894 2,880

Women

3,176 398 554 865 1,420 1,994

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

19,278 358 455 632 950 1,514

Men

11,892 377 480 667 1,003 1,568

Women

7,385 333 418 593 888 1,401

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

101,684 416 591 886 1,403 2,079

Less than a high school diploma

7,107 326 396 504 697 947

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,518 383 502 700 998 1,440

Some college or associate degree

27,688 412 555 779 1,147 1,653

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

41,371 609 852 1,266 1,893 2,719

Bachelor's degree only

25,471 580 785 1,152 1,764 2,488

Advanced degree

15,901 725 985 1,447 2,094 3,079

Men, 25 years and over

56,924 454 634 971 1,544 2,287

Less than a high school diploma

4,868 354 420 550 753 1,015

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,594 412 558 785 1,122 1,573

Some college or associate degree

14,706 454 617 895 1,279 1,832

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,756 679 952 1,461 2,111 3,094

Bachelor's degree only

13,594 636 885 1,357 1,917 2,886

Advanced degree

8,162 773 1,103 1,693 2,405 3,722

Women, 25 years and over

44,761 391 535 785 1,212 1,847

Less than a high school diploma

2,239 296 355 426 569 716

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,924 344 441 600 808 1,127

Some college or associate degree

12,982 389 503 694 967 1,403

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

19,616 575 771 1,099 1,616 2,253

Bachelor's degree only

11,877 525 708 977 1,477 2,091

Advanced degree

7,739 661 904 1,274 1,798 2,416

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
2015
3rd
2016
3rd
2015
3rd
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

23,619 23,973 $248 $255

Men, 16 years and over

8,135 8,300 237 245

16 to 24 years

3,719 3,666 197 201

25 years and over

4,417 4,634 287 292

Women, 16 years and over

15,483 15,673 254 260

16 to 24 years

4,660 4,400 197 202

25 years and over

10,823 11,273 290 294

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

18,754 18,681 252 258

Men

6,375 6,257 242 246

Women

12,379 12,424 258 264

Black or African American

2,862 2,947 226 238

Men

1,082 1,115 210 235

Women

1,779 1,833 237 240

Asian

1,211 1,379 264 265

Men

394 537 260 264

Women

817 842 266 266

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,946 3,998 249 246

Men

1,478 1,366 254 246

Women

2,467 2,631 246 247

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 20, 2016