Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 19, 2016                  		        USDL-16-1492

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  --  SECOND QUARTER 2016


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 111.2 million full-time wage and salary workers were $824 
in the second quarter of 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 
today. This was 2.9 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 second-quarter 
data are:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $824 in the second quarter of 2016. 
     Women had median weekly earnings of $744, or 81.8 percent of the $909 median for men. 
     (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 
     80.7 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black women (91.8 percent), 
     Asian women (79.1 percent), and Hispanic women (89.1 percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black men working 
     at full-time jobs were $704, or 74.8 percent of the median for White men ($941). The 
     difference was less among women, as Black women's median earnings ($646) were 85.1 percent 
     of those for White women ($759). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time 
     ($618) were lower than those of Blacks ($677), Whites ($854), and Asians ($1,021). 
     (See table 2.)

   --By age, median weekly earnings were not much different for men ages 35 to 44 ($1,024), 45 to 
     54 ($1,063), 55 to 64 ($1,054), and 65 and over ($1,032) in the second quarter of 2016. For 
     women, usual weekly earnings were highest for those ages 35 to 44 ($845) and 45 to 54 ($829). 
     Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $492. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, 
     and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--$1,405 for men and $1,019 for 
     women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $564 and $480, respectively. 
     (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma 
     had median weekly earnings of $499, compared with $690 for high school graduates (no college) 
     and $1,249 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 $3,517 or more per week, compared with $2,593 or more for their female 
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $828 in the second quarter of 2016, 
     essentially unchanged from the previous quarter ($823). (See table 1.)




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

2nd Quarter

106,827 60,351 46,476 693 765 610 335 370 295

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 49,159 828 913 744 346 381 311

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
2nd
2015
2nd
2016
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2015
2nd
2016
2nd
2015
2nd
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

108,769 111,166 $801 $824 $337 $343

Men, 16 years and over

60,638 62,045 886 909 373 378

16 to 24 years

5,335 5,724 497 505 209 210

25 years and over

55,303 56,320 942 967 396 403

Women, 16 years and over

48,131 49,121 726 744 305 310

16 to 24 years

4,313 4,415 444 470 187 196

25 years and over

43,818 44,706 759 777 319 324

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

85,383 86,638 829 854 349 356

Men

48,785 49,241 914 941 385 392

Women

36,598 37,397 742 759 312 316

Black or African American

13,566 13,954 647 677 272 282

Men

6,442 6,838 696 704 293 293

Women

7,124 7,116 615 646 259 269

Asian

6,608 7,085 965 1,021 406 425

Men

3,612 3,963 1,085 1,147 457 478

Women

2,996 3,122 836 907 352 378

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,240 18,956 601 618 253 257

Men

11,102 11,718 619 652 260 272

Women

7,138 7,238 572 581 241 242

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, 2nd 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

111,166 $824 62,045 $909 49,121 $744

16 to 24 years

10,140 492 5,724 505 4,415 470

16 to 19 years

1,298 404 730 422 568 390

20 to 24 years

8,842 505 4,995 516 3,847 489

25 years and over

101,026 880 56,320 967 44,706 777

25 to 54 years

78,468 865 44,133 944 34,336 774

25 to 34 years

27,500 753 15,589 791 11,911 710

35 to 44 years

25,270 943 14,406 1,024 10,863 845

45 to 54 years

25,699 948 14,137 1,063 11,562 829

55 years and over

22,558 928 12,188 1,049 10,370 785

55 to 64 years

18,532 935 9,877 1,054 8,655 795

65 years and over

4,026 898 2,311 1,032 1,715 736

White

16 years and over

86,638 854 49,241 941 37,397 759

16 to 24 years

7,961 500 4,612 510 3,349 483

25 years and over

78,677 907 44,629 997 34,049 797

25 to 54 years

60,196 893 34,539 971 25,657 799

55 years and over

18,481 959 10,090 1,114 8,392 791

Black or African American

16 years and over

13,954 677 6,838 704 7,116 646

16 to 24 years

1,239 423 626 462 612 408

25 years and over

12,716 708 6,212 731 6,504 684

25 to 54 years

10,302 698 5,058 718 5,244 675

55 years and over

2,413 771 1,154 819 1,260 739

Asian

16 years and over

7,085 1,021 3,963 1,147 3,122 907

16 to 24 years

392 519 212 520 180 515

25 years and over

6,693 1,063 3,751 1,190 2,942 945

25 to 54 years

5,436 1,114 3,029 1,249 2,407 982

55 years and over

1,257 885 722 943 535 833

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

18,956 618 11,718 652 7,238 581

16 to 24 years

2,455 476 1,510 481 945 461

25 years and over

16,501 658 10,208 692 6,294 605

25 to 54 years

14,173 650 8,821 683 5,351 602

55 years and over

2,329 705 1,386 767 942 624

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
2nd
2015
2nd
2016
2nd
2015
2nd
2016

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

44,819 46,153 $1,147 $1,174

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

18,400 19,031 1,243 1,260

Professional and related occupations

26,420 27,122 1,097 1,138

Service occupations

15,313 15,275 506 512

Sales and office occupations

23,601 23,712 668 688

Sales and related occupations

9,724 9,872 688 730

Office and administrative support occupations

13,876 13,840 661 673

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,604 10,935 750 771

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

778 898 440 543

Construction and extraction occupations

5,664 5,935 741 784

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,162 4,102 835 819

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,431 15,092 653 663

Production occupations

7,525 8,105 666 662

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,906 6,986 634 664

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

21,899 22,304 1,357 1,405

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,126 10,191 1,401 1,441

Professional and related occupations

11,773 12,114 1,319 1,377

Service occupations

7,732 7,703 587 564

Sales and office occupations

9,395 9,535 765 775

Sales and related occupations

5,373 5,446 864 882

Office and administrative support occupations

4,023 4,088 683 695

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,194 10,491 761 778

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

607 699 448 570

Construction and extraction occupations

5,531 5,818 742 786

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,056 3,973 838 818

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,418 12,012 702 708

Production occupations

5,508 5,983 734 722

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,909 6,028 663 694

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,920 23,848 987 1,019

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,274 8,840 1,064 1,073

Professional and related occupations

14,647 15,009 953 994

Service occupations

7,582 7,572 457 480

Sales and office occupations

14,205 14,177 632 645

Sales and related occupations

4,352 4,426 556 580

Office and administrative support occupations

9,853 9,751 655 666

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

410 444 507 552

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

172 199 427 459

Construction and extraction occupations

133 117 700 685

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

106 128 603 848

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

3,013 3,080 524 532

Production occupations

2,017 2,122 524 535

Transportation and material moving occupations

996 958 524 528

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, 2nd 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

111,166 $395 $545 $824 $1,313 $1,997

Men

62,045 413 587 909 1,454 2,281

Women

49,121 379 505 744 1,144 1,738

White

86,638 402 565 854 1,343 2,024

Men

49,241 420 601 941 1,484 2,289

Women

37,397 385 517 759 1,157 1,752

Black or African American

13,954 368 473 677 1,010 1,546

Men

6,838 383 494 704 1,095 1,713

Women

7,116 352 446 646 954 1,454

Asian

7,085 415 614 1,021 1,723 2,507

Men

3,963 478 682 1,147 1,893 2,881

Women

3,122 387 554 907 1,451 2,089

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,956 352 436 618 940 1,426

Men

11,718 371 470 652 1,000 1,519

Women

7,238 332 411 581 856 1,316

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

101,026 414 586 880 1,374 2,089

Less than a high school diploma

7,290 312 390 499 675 958

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,656 385 499 690 993 1,414

Some college or associate degree

26,828 410 555 767 1,136 1,563

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

41,253 606 853 1,249 1,889 2,887

Bachelor's degree only

25,539 578 779 1,155 1,752 2,612

Advanced degree

15,714 701 975 1,425 2,105 3,105

Men, 25 years and over

56,320 446 623 967 1,523 2,316

Less than a high school diploma

4,979 338 406 529 733 1,024

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,903 411 549 762 1,122 1,570

Some college or associate degree

14,052 467 623 890 1,269 1,784

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,386 658 968 1,431 2,179 3,229

Bachelor's degree only

13,603 619 900 1,328 1,966 2,975

Advanced degree

7,784 757 1,127 1,621 2,422 3,517

Women, 25 years and over

44,706 393 532 777 1,179 1,794

Less than a high school diploma

2,311 288 350 421 562 719

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,752 353 440 596 806 1,089

Some college or associate degree

12,776 383 496 673 938 1,306

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

19,867 577 769 1,086 1,577 2,294

Bachelor's degree only

11,936 523 715 997 1,468 2,071

Advanced degree

7,930 663 898 1,245 1,827 2,593

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
2nd
2015
2nd
2016
2nd
2015
2nd
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,825 24,808 $244 $250

Men, 16 years and over

8,564 8,645 231 245

16 to 24 years

3,933 3,739 188 192

25 years and over

4,630 4,906 291 292

Women, 16 years and over

16,261 16,163 250 253

16 to 24 years

4,771 4,745 192 190

25 years and over

11,491 11,419 281 288

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,513 19,578 247 252

Men

6,601 6,893 232 245

Women

12,912 12,685 254 256

Black or African American

3,013 2,999 226 237

Men

1,153 1,045 219 237

Women

1,860 1,954 230 237

Asian

1,275 1,280 250 267

Men

455 415 243 252

Women

820 865 253 280

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,097 3,987 232 241

Men

1,472 1,452 241 246

Women

2,625 2,535 227 238

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: July 19, 2016