October 2011, Vol. 134, No. 10
Labor month in review
The October Review
Injuries and illnesses, 2010
Usual weekly earnings
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Labor month in review from past issues
In today's global economy, the prevalence of multinational companies located in the United States should come as no surprise. What may be of surprise, however, is that these often overlooked establishments employ millions of U.S. workers across the country and in a variety of industries and occupations. In this issue's lead article, BLS authors Elizabeth Weber Handwerker, Mina M. Kim, and Lowell Mason present details on the employment, wages, and geographic and occupational distributions of U.S.-based multinational manufacturing establishments. The findings, coming out of a joint BEA-BLS research project, indicate that these manufacturing establishments are located primarily in the South, employ a disproportionate number of engineers, and pay higher wages, on average, than other U.S. establishments. The authors state that the uncertainty as to why U.S.-based multinational manufacturing establishments pay higher wages is not known, but that further research could help explain this difference, and other differences, between domestic and multinational firms.
In our Regional Reports department, Rachel S. Friedman, formerly an economist in the Bureau's New York Regional Office for Economic Analysis and Information, analyzes the labor market effects of the real estate boom and bust on New York City from 2000 to 2010. The study uses employment data from the Bureau's Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program to show that the construction boom that started in 2000 occurred in New York City later, but with more intensity, than in the Nation as a whole. The eventual construction bust also occurred later in the City than nationally, but was, interestingly, relatively less severe.
The October issue concludes with another installment from our Regional Reports department. Lisa Boily, an economist in the Bureau's New York regional office, uses QCEW data to examine differences in pay—or pay premiums—between workers in New York City and the Nation's workers. The report indicates that workers in the City continued to earn more, on average, than workers in lower cost areas but that most of the increase in the City's pay premium from 1990 to 2009 is attributable to growth in average pay in the financial activities industries.
Nearly 3.1 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported among workers in private industry in 2010, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.5 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers—down from 3.6 cases in 2009. However, the incidence rates for cases with days away from work; for cases of job transfer and restriction; and for cases of days away from work, job transfer, or restriction each remained unchanged from 2009.
Among the goods-producing industry sectors, incidence rates during 2010 ranged from 2.3 cases per 100 full-time workers in mining to 4.4 cases per 100 full-time workers in manufacturing. Within the service-providing industry sectors, incidence rates ranged from 0.8 case per 100 full-time workers in the finance and insurance sector to 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers both in the transportation and warehousing sector and in the health care and social assistance sector. The news release regarding these data is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/osh_10202011.htm. Additional information is available from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program at www.bls.gov/iif/home.htm.
Median weekly earnings of the Nation's 101.4 million full-time wage and salary workers were $753 in the third quarter of 2011. This figure was 1.8 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 3.8 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
The female-to-male earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 82.5 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black (90.2 percent), Asian (70.1 percent), and Hispanic women (92.9 percent). Among the major race and ethnicity groups, Black men working at full-time jobs had median weekly earnings of $661 per week, or 78.0 percent of the median for white men ($847). The difference was less among women: Black women's median earnings ($596) were 85.3 percent of those for white women ($699). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($545) were lower than those of Blacks ($616), Whites ($772), and Asians ($869). The news release regarding these data is available at www.bls.gov/news.release/archives/wkyeng_10202011. htm. Additional information is available from the Current Population Survey at www.bls.gov/cps.
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