Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, July 17, 2018                          USDL-18-1180

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 2018


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 115.8 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $876 in the second quarter of 2018 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. This was 2.0 percent higher than a year earlier,
compared with a gain of 2.7 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 news release are not seasonally adjusted
unless otherwise specified.

Highlights from the second-quarter data:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $876 in the second quarter of
     2018. Women had median weekly earnings of $780, or 81.3 percent of the $959
     median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women
     earned 82.7 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black
     women (89.4 percent), Asian women (73.7 percent), and Hispanic women (88.2
     percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings of Hispanics
     ($674) and Blacks ($683) working at full-time jobs were lower than those of
     Whites ($907) and Asians ($1,083). By sex, median earnings for Black men were
     $720, or 73.1 percent of the median for White men ($985). Median earnings for
     Hispanic men were $704, or 71.5 percent of the median for White men. The gap
     was narrower among women, as Black women's median earnings ($644) were 79.0
     percent of those for White women ($815), and earnings for Hispanic women ($621)
     were 76.2 percent of those for White women. Asian men and women earned more
     than their White counterparts. (See table 2.)

   --By age, median weekly earnings were highest for men age 35 and over in the
     second quarter of 2018: weekly earnings were $1,085 for men age 35 to 44,
     $1,108 for men age 45 to 54, $1,127 for men age 55 to 64, and $1,074 for men
     age 65 and over. Usual weekly earnings were also highest for women age 35
     and over: weekly earnings were $866 for women age 35 to 44, $854 for women
     age 45 to 54, $856 for women age 55 to 64, and $925 for women age 65 and over.
     Men and women age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, $528 and
     $511, respectively. (See table 3.) 

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management,
     professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--
     $1,463 for men and $1,080 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $615 and $512, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $554, compared with $726 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,310 for those holding at least a
     bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (master's
     or professional degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male
     workers made $3,900 or more per week, compared with $2,625 or more for their
     female counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $879 in the second quarter
     of 2018, little changed from the previous quarter ($873). (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
$

2009

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

102,161 57,110 45,051 764 841 693 335 368 303

2nd quarter

102,525 57,079 45,447 772 870 687 337 380 300

3rd quarter

102,587 57,207 45,380 766 836 693 333 364 302

4th quarter

103,748 57,772 45,977 771 868 690 333 375 298

2013

1st quarter

103,928 57,884 46,044 768 860 699 331 370 301

2nd quarter

103,988 57,944 46,044 777 863 706 335 372 304

3rd quarter

104,400 58,082 46,318 779 855 705 334 367 302

4th quarter

104,764 58,095 46,669 782 865 712 334 369 304

2014

1st quarter

105,623 58,679 46,943 790 865 716 335 367 304

2nd quarter

106,356 59,506 46,850 781 860 714 330 363 302

3rd quarter

106,746 59,548 47,197 798 879 722 336 370 304

4th quarter

107,402 60,090 47,312 795 878 724 336 371 306

2015

1st quarter

108,480 60,370 48,110 801 886 724 340 377 308

2nd quarter

108,572 60,432 48,139 803 889 725 339 375 306

3rd quarter

109,295 60,985 48,311 811 897 728 341 377 306

4th quarter

109,982 61,206 48,776 822 904 730 345 380 307

2016

1st quarter

110,434 61,650 48,784 823 904 744 346 380 313

2nd quarter

110,973 61,835 49,138 827 912 743 345 381 310

3rd quarter

111,600 62,095 49,505 834 918 751 347 382 312

4th quarter

111,353 62,138 49,215 846 925 759 349 382 314

2017

1st quarter

112,004 62,508 49,496 857 940 759 351 385 311

2nd quarter

113,177 63,005 50,172 862 937 779 353 384 319

3rd quarter

113,668 63,176 50,492 866 944 773 353 385 315

4th quarter

114,219 63,221 50,997 854 944 771 345 382 312

2018

1st quarter

114,676 64,012 50,664 873 955 777 350 383 311

2nd quarter

115,502 64,171 51,331 879 962 779 351 384 311

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
2017
2nd
2018
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2017
2nd
2018
2nd
2017
2nd
2018

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

113,372 115,758 $859 $876 $351 $348

Men, 16 years and over

63,222 64,437 934 959 381 381

16 to 24 years

5,983 6,009 524 528 214 210

25 years and over

57,240 58,428 995 1,015 407 404

Women, 16 years and over

50,150 51,321 780 780 319 310

16 to 24 years

4,485 4,656 496 511 202 203

25 years and over

45,665 46,665 824 824 337 328

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

87,877 89,250 886 907 362 361

Men

50,227 50,883 961 985 393 392

Women

37,650 38,367 808 815 330 324

Black or African American

14,504 14,951 689 683 281 272

Men

6,988 7,234 702 720 287 287

Women

7,516 7,717 676 644 276 256

Asian

7,276 7,635 1,103 1,083 451 431

Men

3,970 4,196 1,254 1,245 512 495

Women

3,306 3,439 931 918 380 365

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

19,743 20,422 657 674 268 268

Men

12,041 12,321 686 704 280 280

Women

7,702 8,101 612 621 250 247

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.


Table 3. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex, 2nd quarter 2018 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

115,758 $876 64,437 $959 51,321 $780

16 to 24 years

10,665 519 6,009 528 4,656 511

16 to 19 years

1,503 450 918 465 585 424

20 to 24 years

9,162 540 5,091 561 4,071 523

25 years and over

105,093 928 58,428 1,015 46,665 824

25 to 54 years

80,864 907 45,101 991 35,763 811

25 to 34 years

28,842 794 16,163 857 12,679 738

35 to 44 years

26,292 971 14,874 1,085 11,418 866

45 to 54 years

25,730 986 14,064 1,108 11,666 854

55 years and over

24,230 994 13,328 1,117 10,902 868

55 to 64 years

19,537 993 10,711 1,127 8,826 856

65 years and over

4,692 996 2,616 1,074 2,076 925

White

16 years and over

89,250 907 50,883 985 38,367 815

16 to 24 years

8,222 527 4,739 556 3,483 513

25 years and over

81,028 961 46,144 1,044 34,884 857

25 to 54 years

61,396 934 35,089 1,008 26,307 839

55 years and over

19,632 1,042 11,055 1,165 8,577 919

Black or African American

16 years and over

14,951 683 7,234 720 7,717 644

16 to 24 years

1,488 462 783 438 705 483

25 years and over

13,463 715 6,451 768 7,012 676

25 to 54 years

10,674 711 5,099 753 5,575 681

55 years and over

2,789 743 1,352 841 1,436 640

Asian

16 years and over

7,635 1,083 4,196 1,245 3,439 918

16 to 24 years

388 598 177 546 211 688

25 years and over

7,247 1,130 4,019 1,270 3,228 943

25 to 54 years

5,928 1,175 3,321 1,331 2,607 964

55 years and over

1,319 962 698 1,014 621 744

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

20,422 674 12,321 704 8,101 621

16 to 24 years

2,315 504 1,401 516 914 483

25 years and over

18,108 704 10,920 734 7,187 652

25 to 54 years

15,447 699 9,345 725 6,102 647

55 years and over

2,661 751 1,576 805 1,085 690

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
2017
2nd
2018
2nd
2017
2nd
2018

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

47,195 48,615 $1,228 $1,242

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

19,470 19,679 1,336 1,346

Professional and related occupations

27,724 28,936 1,167 1,176

Service occupations

15,833 16,603 549 558

Sales and office occupations

23,399 23,330 709 734

Sales and related occupations

9,884 9,927 757 781

Office and administrative support occupations

13,515 13,403 688 711

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

11,867 11,451 794 836

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

1,149 788 577 612

Construction and extraction occupations

6,204 6,390 780 802

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,513 4,273 876 955

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

15,078 15,758 699 703

Production occupations

7,861 7,847 698 739

Transportation and material moving occupations

7,217 7,911 700 670

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,639 23,713 1,442 1,463

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,306 10,524 1,514 1,515

Professional and related occupations

12,334 13,189 1,389 1,428

Service occupations

7,973 7,966 598 615

Sales and office occupations

9,382 9,353 790 813

Sales and related occupations

5,431 5,408 920 941

Office and administrative support occupations

3,951 3,945 716 705

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

11,314 10,990 805 840

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

886 622 606 634

Construction and extraction occupations

6,062 6,200 779 802

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,366 4,168 882 950

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,914 12,414 746 757

Production occupations

5,733 5,865 770 812

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,181 6,550 729 704

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

24,555 24,902 1,055 1,080

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,165 9,155 1,134 1,170

Professional and related occupations

15,390 15,747 1,020 1,019

Service occupations

7,861 8,637 508 512

Sales and office occupations

14,017 13,977 671 693

Sales and related occupations

4,453 4,519 627 630

Office and administrative support occupations

9,564 9,458 683 713

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

553 462 592 741

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

262 166 470 472

Construction and extraction occupations

142 191 797 797

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

148 105 760 1,148

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

3,164 3,344 539 555

Production occupations

2,129 1,982 558 583

Transportation and material moving occupations

1,036 1,362 513 522

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 2018 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

115,758 $426 $585 $876 $1,384 $2,112

Men

64,437 459 618 959 1,529 2,383

Women

51,321 403 541 780 1,216 1,853

White

89,250 441 602 907 1,424 2,188

Men

50,883 476 639 985 1,558 2,423

Women

38,367 411 562 815 1,244 1,875

Black or African American

14,951 378 491 683 1,060 1,607

Men

7,234 386 500 720 1,119 1,729

Women

7,717 368 480 644 967 1,575

Asian

7,635 473 651 1,083 1,771 2,608

Men

4,196 498 752 1,245 1,921 2,885

Women

3,439 435 592 918 1,497 2,114

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

20,422 387 493 674 982 1,550

Men

12,321 402 513 704 1,026 1,615

Women

8,101 374 455 621 897 1,434

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

105,093 455 616 928 1,450 2,223

Less than a high school diploma

7,188 350 430 554 732 1,005

High school graduates, no college(1)

26,378 406 526 726 1,048 1,491

Some college or associate degree

27,754 445 588 825 1,183 1,642

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

43,773 627 880 1,310 1,982 2,907

Bachelor's degree only

26,928 593 805 1,187 1,841 2,698

Advanced degree

16,845 725 1,013 1,512 2,288 3,313

Men, 25 years and over

58,428 489 674 1,015 1,596 2,492

Less than a high school diploma

4,815 384 480 606 803 1,143

High school graduates, no college(1)

16,452 444 585 810 1,157 1,597

Some college or associate degree

14,497 492 655 938 1,345 1,875

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

22,664 690 1,001 1,522 2,312 3,324

Bachelor's degree only

14,237 641 919 1,372 2,083 2,920

Advanced degree

8,427 856 1,170 1,808 2,729 3,900

Women, 25 years and over

46,665 417 576 824 1,260 1,890

Less than a high school diploma

2,373 310 386 462 592 763

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,925 375 479 620 848 1,195

Some college or associate degree

13,257 408 537 720 1,022 1,403

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,109 590 786 1,141 1,679 2,317

Bachelor's degree only

12,691 554 733 1,041 1,541 2,111

Advanced degree

8,418 664 917 1,300 1,886 2,625

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
2017
2nd
2018
2nd
2017
2nd
2018

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,651 24,428 $262 $267

Men, 16 years and over

8,368 8,460 257 258

16 to 24 years

3,687 3,524 200 215

25 years and over

4,681 4,936 308 303

Women, 16 years and over

16,283 15,968 265 272

16 to 24 years

4,819 4,738 198 206

25 years and over

11,464 11,230 301 307

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,349 19,155 269 271

Men

6,480 6,563 262 261

Women

12,869 12,592 272 277

Black or African American

2,952 2,991 230 248

Men

1,068 1,065 234 248

Women

1,884 1,926 228 248

Asian

1,279 1,304 281 252

Men

441 458 286 250

Women

838 846 278 253

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,014 4,342 263 264

Men

1,495 1,626 269 264

Women

2,519 2,716 260 264

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 17, 2018