Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 19, 2016                  USDL-16-0794

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 2016


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 109.1 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $830 in the first quarter of 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 2.7 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 first-quarter data are:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $830 in the first quarter 
     of 2016. Women had median weekly earnings of $750, or 82.2 percent of the 
     $912 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women 
     earned 81.9 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black 
     women (85.4 percent), Asian women (80.5 percent), and Hispanic women 
     (89.5 percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black 
     men working at full-time jobs were $732 per week, or 78.2 percent of the median 
     for White men ($936). The difference was less among women, as Black women's 
     median earnings ($625) were 81.5 percent of those for White women ($767). 
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($612) were lower 
     than those of Blacks ($673), Whites ($857), and Asians ($1,032). (See table 2.)

   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, median 
     weekly earnings were highest for those age 45 to 54 ($1,075) and 55 to 64 
     ($1,124). Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64: weekly 
     earnings were $822 for women age 35 to 44, $832 for women age 45 to 54, and 
     $839 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly 
     earnings, at $502. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, 
     professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly 
     earnings--$1,431 for men and $1,024 for women. Men and women employed in service 
     jobs earned the least, $609 and $483, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high 
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $494, compared with $679 for high 
     school graduates (no college) and $1,250 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 $3,871 
     or more per week, compared with $2,409 or more for their female counterparts. 
     (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $823 in the first quarter of 
     2016, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter ($820). (See table 1.)


   ___________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                                   |
  |           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 this   |
  | release.) Seasonally adjusted constant (1982-84) dollar estimates back to the     |
  | first quarter of 2011 were 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

1st Quarter

107,176 60,105 47,070 687 752 610 336 368 298

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

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
2015
1st
2016
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
1st
2015
1st
2016
1st
2015
1st
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

107,194 109,147 $808 $830 $344 $350

Men, 16 years and over

59,361 60,639 895 912 381 384

16 to 24 years

5,067 5,278 491 511 209 215

25 years and over

54,294 55,361 944 963 402 406

Women, 16 years and over

47,833 48,508 730 750 311 316

16 to 24 years

4,039 4,065 461 488 196 205

25 years and over

43,794 44,443 759 779 323 328

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

84,008 85,226 835 857 356 361

Men

47,591 48,482 918 936 391 394

Women

36,416 36,744 746 767 318 323

Black or African American

13,241 13,582 650 673 277 283

Men

6,268 6,492 694 732 296 308

Women

6,972 7,090 614 625 262 263

Asian

6,570 6,742 966 1,032 411 435

Men

3,684 3,721 1,090 1,159 464 488

Women

2,886 3,021 869 933 370 393

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,124 18,545 590 612 251 258

Men

10,973 11,273 612 641 260 270

Women

7,151 7,273 547 574 233 242

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, 1st 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

109,147 $830 60,639 $912 48,508 $750

16 to 24 years

9,344 502 5,278 511 4,065 488

16 to 19 years

948 394 561 408 387 368

20 to 24 years

8,396 514 4,717 523 3,679 500

25 years and over

99,803 878 55,361 963 44,443 779

25 to 54 years

77,316 859 43,223 935 34,093 771

25 to 34 years

26,767 737 15,105 781 11,662 690

35 to 44 years

25,038 921 14,167 996 10,871 822

45 to 54 years

25,511 953 13,951 1,075 11,560 832

55 years and over

22,488 953 12,138 1,102 10,350 821

55 to 64 years

18,376 975 9,888 1,124 8,488 839

65 years and over

4,112 836 2,250 992 1,862 749

White

16 years and over

85,226 857 48,482 936 36,744 767

16 to 24 years

7,166 506 4,189 517 2,977 488

25 years and over

78,060 905 44,293 988 33,768 801

25 to 54 years

59,597 885 34,154 955 25,443 791

55 years and over

18,463 982 10,138 1,135 8,325 835

Black or African American

16 years and over

13,582 673 6,492 732 7,090 625

16 to 24 years

1,289 421 631 426 658 415

25 years and over

12,292 716 5,860 761 6,432 663

25 to 54 years

9,957 707 4,743 755 5,214 655

55 years and over

2,335 753 1,117 801 1,218 694

Asian

16 years and over

6,742 1,032 3,721 1,159 3,021 933

16 to 24 years

383 595 182 630 201 560

25 years and over

6,358 1,072 3,539 1,200 2,820 973

25 to 54 years

5,101 1,068 2,878 1,207 2,223 976

55 years and over

1,258 1,090 660 1,188 597 949

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

18,545 612 11,273 641 7,273 574

16 to 24 years

2,216 480 1,281 494 935 447

25 years and over

16,329 644 9,992 680 6,338 601

25 to 54 years

14,105 634 8,709 670 5,396 600

55 years and over

2,224 685 1,282 760 942 620

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
2015
1st
2016
1st
2015
1st
2016

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

44,441 45,297 $1,149 $1,174

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

18,078 18,940 1,253 1,281

Professional and related occupations

26,363 26,357 1,089 1,134

Service occupations

15,011 15,709 505 526

Sales and office occupations

23,179 23,484 674 693

Sales and related occupations

9,526 9,484 718 739

Office and administrative support occupations

13,652 14,000 653 676

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,322 10,508 781 789

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

731 704 446 504

Construction and extraction occupations

5,365 5,529 768 772

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,226 4,275 847 880

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,241 14,150 631 644

Production occupations

7,503 7,200 643 644

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,738 6,950 618 643

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

21,407 21,928 1,372 1,431

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,925 10,118 1,455 1,539

Professional and related occupations

11,481 11,810 1,314 1,356

Service occupations

7,538 7,852 575 609

Sales and office occupations

9,279 9,287 779 808

Sales and related occupations

5,322 5,440 914 898

Office and administrative support occupations

3,957 3,847 680 705

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,904 10,096 788 799

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

601 584 461 517

Construction and extraction occupations

5,234 5,410 773 776

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,069 4,102 855 886

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,233 11,477 684 675

Production occupations

5,423 5,416 710 698

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,810 6,060 648 652

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

23,034 23,369 988 1,024

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,152 8,822 1,064 1,108

Professional and related occupations

14,881 14,547 959 986

Service occupations

7,473 7,857 461 483

Sales and office occupations

13,900 14,197 622 649

Sales and related occupations

4,204 4,044 581 590

Office and administrative support occupations

9,696 10,152 644 668

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

418 412 584 579

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

130 120 397 453

Construction and extraction occupations

131 119 618 519

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

157 173 753 683

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

3,008 2,674 505 539

Production occupations

2,080 1,784 510 521

Transportation and material moving occupations

928 890 494 588

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 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

109,147 $393 $544 $830 $1,328 $1,999

Men

60,639 410 586 912 1,481 2,288

Women

48,508 377 506 750 1,148 1,733

White

85,226 401 566 857 1,355 2,074

Men

48,482 417 597 936 1,510 2,310

Women

36,744 384 519 767 1,166 1,742

Black or African American

13,582 352 472 673 1,004 1,579

Men

6,492 365 499 732 1,082 1,726

Women

7,090 344 441 625 946 1,408

Asian

6,742 423 613 1,032 1,734 2,483

Men

3,721 467 670 1,159 1,882 2,652

Women

3,021 402 568 933 1,475 2,205

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,545 352 436 612 946 1,472

Men

11,273 370 465 641 1,014 1,545

Women

7,273 333 411 574 851 1,295

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

99,803 409 583 878 1,380 2,091

Less than a high school diploma

7,150 315 386 494 670 957

High school graduates, no college(1)

24,807 377 490 679 980 1,408

Some college or associate degree

27,179 416 568 782 1,146 1,623

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

40,667 596 853 1,250 1,886 2,837

Bachelor's degree only

25,288 555 778 1,155 1,740 2,507

Advanced degree

15,379 695 982 1,435 2,110 3,120

Men, 25 years and over

55,361 435 616 963 1,542 2,322

Less than a high school diploma

4,933 334 407 526 730 1,031

High school graduates, no college(1)

14,978 401 528 751 1,106 1,544

Some college or associate degree

14,259 459 617 893 1,302 1,858

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,191 647 957 1,461 2,197 3,159

Bachelor's degree only

13,456 605 887 1,344 1,920 2,896

Advanced degree

7,734 773 1,132 1,705 2,512 3,871

Women, 25 years and over

44,443 389 529 779 1,178 1,765

Less than a high school diploma

2,217 290 347 415 533 696

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,828 339 431 596 800 1,111

Some college or associate degree

12,921 395 509 689 963 1,327

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

19,476 553 761 1,102 1,574 2,234

Bachelor's degree only

11,832 504 707 1,006 1,444 2,016

Advanced degree

7,644 642 897 1,232 1,768 2,409

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
2015
1st
2016
1st
2015
1st
2016

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,860 25,309 $246 $246

Men, 16 years and over

8,651 8,655 241 245

16 to 24 years

3,772 3,768 191 193

25 years and over

4,878 4,888 280 293

Women, 16 years and over

16,209 16,654 250 248

16 to 24 years

4,766 4,909 174 186

25 years and over

11,443 11,745 291 285

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,926 20,007 248 249

Men

6,855 6,728 242 243

Women

13,071 13,278 252 252

Black or African American

2,810 3,095 225 232

Men

1,017 1,123 223 241

Women

1,793 1,972 226 227

Asian

1,206 1,284 287 257

Men

404 453 294 263

Women

802 831 281 253

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,091 4,209 245 241

Men

1,642 1,544 248 248

Women

2,450 2,665 242 238

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: April 19, 2016