Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Friday, April 13, 2018                    USDL-18-0546

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 2018


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 113.4 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $881 in the first quarter of 2018 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. 
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 1.8 percent higher than a year 
earlier, compared with a gain of 2.2 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 first-quarter data:

  --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $881 in the first quarter 
    of 2018. Women had median weekly earnings of $783, or 81.1 percent of the 
    $965 median for men. (See table 2.)

  --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women 
    earned 81.2 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black 
    women (92.8 percent), Asian women (78.5 percent), and Hispanic women (85.1 
    percent). (See table 2.)

  --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black 
    men working at full-time jobs were $723, or 72.5 percent of the median for 
    White men ($997). The difference was less among women, as Black women's median 
    earnings ($671) were 82.8 percent of those for White women ($810). Overall, 
    median earnings of Hispanics ($675) and Blacks ($696) were lower than those of 
    Whites ($911) and Asians ($1,066). (See table 2.)

  --By age, median weekly earnings were highest for men age 35 to 64: weekly 
    earnings were $1,098 for men age 35 to 44, $1,150 for men age 45 to 54, and 
    $1,113 for men age 55 to 64 in the first quarter of 2018. For women, those 
    ages 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 had the highest median weekly earnings, at $880 
    and $878, respectively. Men and women age 16 to 24 had the lowest median 
    weekly earnings, $563 and $545, 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--
    $1,454 for men and $1,054 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs 
    earned the least, $641 and $504, respectively. (See table 4.)

  --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high 
    school diploma had median weekly earnings of $563, compared with $713 for high 
    school graduates (no college) and $1,286 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 $3,894 
    or more per week, compared with $2,875 or more for their female counterparts. 
    (See table 5.)

  --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $873 in the first quarter of 
    2018, up from the previous quarter ($854). (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   |
  | news release.) Seasonally adjusted constant (1982-84) dollar estimates back to    |
  | the first quarter of 2013 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
$

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

102,161 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

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
2017
1st
2018
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
1st
2017
1st
2018
1st
2017
1st
2018

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

110,706 113,396 $865 $881 $355 $354

Men, 16 years and over

61,488 63,037 950 965 390 388

16 to 24 years

5,335 5,482 558 563 229 226

25 years and over

56,153 57,555 998 1,016 410 409

Women, 16 years and over

49,218 50,359 765 783 314 315

16 to 24 years

4,174 4,159 489 545 201 219

25 years and over

45,044 46,201 803 819 330 329

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

86,068 87,528 894 911 367 366

Men

49,025 49,844 977 997 401 401

Women

37,043 37,684 790 810 324 326

Black or African American

14,085 14,715 679 696 279 280

Men

6,629 7,136 722 723 297 291

Women

7,456 7,579 645 671 265 270

Asian

7,077 7,330 1,019 1,066 419 429

Men

3,934 4,032 1,205 1,199 495 482

Women

3,144 3,298 892 941 366 378

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,958 19,802 649 675 267 271

Men

11,362 11,895 692 723 284 290

Women

7,596 7,907 596 615 245 247

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, 1st 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

113,396 $881 63,037 $965 50,359 $783

16 to 24 years

9,641 555 5,482 563 4,159 545

16 to 19 years

1,069 435 644 453 425 417

20 to 24 years

8,571 576 4,838 581 3,733 568

25 years and over

103,755 922 57,555 1,016 46,201 819

25 to 54 years

80,189 914 44,731 1,001 35,458 819

25 to 34 years

28,309 793 15,957 849 12,352 737

35 to 44 years

26,169 986 14,654 1,098 11,515 880

45 to 54 years

25,711 1,004 14,120 1,150 11,591 878

55 years and over

23,566 956 12,824 1,097 10,743 819

55 to 64 years

19,156 970 10,360 1,113 8,796 827

65 years and over

4,410 911 2,464 1,027 1,947 773

White

16 years and over

87,528 911 49,844 997 37,684 810

16 to 24 years

7,358 575 4,319 581 3,039 562

25 years and over

80,170 954 45,525 1,055 34,645 845

25 to 54 years

60,999 944 34,889 1,030 26,111 848

55 years and over

19,171 991 10,636 1,146 8,534 838

Black or African American

16 years and over

14,715 696 7,136 723 7,579 671

16 to 24 years

1,316 482 670 466 646 490

25 years and over

13,399 725 6,466 751 6,933 699

25 to 54 years

10,778 721 5,220 743 5,558 698

55 years and over

2,622 738 1,247 794 1,375 701

Asian

16 years and over

7,330 1,066 4,032 1,199 3,298 941

16 to 24 years

437 688 223 722 215 680

25 years and over

6,892 1,109 3,809 1,235 3,083 979

25 to 54 years

5,580 1,126 3,084 1,256 2,496 993

55 years and over

1,312 1,016 725 1,154 588 885

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

19,802 675 11,895 723 7,907 615

16 to 24 years

2,172 513 1,304 515 868 512

25 years and over

17,630 705 10,591 765 7,039 632

25 to 54 years

14,915 703 8,948 760 5,967 635

55 years and over

2,716 716 1,643 786 1,072 617

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
2017
1st
2018
1st
2017
1st
2018

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

46,864 48,940 $1,216 $1,229

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

19,513 20,138 1,307 1,341

Professional and related occupations

27,351 28,801 1,152 1,155

Service occupations

15,494 15,645 549 567

Sales and office occupations

23,556 23,461 723 734

Sales and related occupations

9,987 9,979 763 758

Office and administrative support occupations

13,569 13,482 706 721

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,773 11,238 791 817

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

762 835 522 589

Construction and extraction occupations

5,612 6,218 787 801

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,399 4,184 864 924

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,019 14,112 690 703

Production occupations

7,232 7,453 702 713

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,787 6,660 672 692

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,841 23,829 1,436 1,454

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,611 10,907 1,525 1,538

Professional and related occupations

12,230 12,922 1,384 1,400

Service occupations

7,613 7,872 624 641

Sales and office occupations

9,468 9,486 841 841

Sales and related occupations

5,600 5,629 935 927

Office and administrative support occupations

3,868 3,857 740 760

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,318 10,699 797 821

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

635 677 549 601

Construction and extraction occupations

5,435 6,045 786 800

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,248 3,978 869 924

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,248 11,151 736 749

Production occupations

5,378 5,462 768 780

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,870 5,688 710 717

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

24,023 25,110 1,044 1,054

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,902 9,231 1,136 1,160

Professional and related occupations

15,121 15,879 1,002 1,000

Service occupations

7,881 7,773 497 504

Sales and office occupations

14,088 13,975 673 686

Sales and related occupations

4,387 4,350 598 632

Office and administrative support occupations

9,701 9,625 697 709

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

455 539 577 684

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

127 159 423 476

Construction and extraction occupations

177 174 827 897

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

151 207 753 912

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,771 2,962 535 556

Production occupations

1,854 1,990 549 571

Transportation and material moving occupations

917 971 511 519

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 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

113,396 $423 $589 $881 $1,399 $2,155

Men

63,037 455 622 965 1,561 2,385

Women

50,359 400 542 783 1,207 1,847

White

87,528 440 606 911 1,439 2,221

Men

49,844 477 647 997 1,605 2,420

Women

37,684 407 566 810 1,231 1,857

Black or African American

14,715 382 493 696 1,091 1,630

Men

7,136 389 508 723 1,152 1,691

Women

7,579 377 487 671 1,016 1,536

Asian

7,330 445 656 1,066 1,760 2,687

Men

4,032 472 720 1,199 1,909 2,895

Women

3,298 421 599 941 1,538 2,289

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

19,802 384 494 675 1,016 1,587

Men

11,895 409 516 723 1,111 1,752

Women

7,907 348 454 615 877 1,369

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

103,755 446 613 922 1,461 2,271

Less than a high school diploma

6,797 341 428 563 755 1,023

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,525 395 513 713 1,037 1,518

Some college or associate degree

27,434 444 592 808 1,196 1,704

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

43,999 610 877 1,286 1,930 2,917

Bachelor's degree only

27,602 580 798 1,169 1,793 2,676

Advanced degree

16,397 730 1,011 1,533 2,296 3,423

Men, 25 years and over

57,555 484 666 1,016 1,637 2,475

Less than a high school diploma

4,639 388 475 616 836 1,146

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,449 439 581 808 1,176 1,682

Some college or associate degree

14,800 492 659 934 1,392 1,902

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

22,667 645 963 1,502 2,291 3,361

Bachelor's degree only

14,506 612 896 1,353 2,021 2,989

Advanced degree

8,161 768 1,164 1,795 2,690 3,894

Women, 25 years and over

46,201 410 570 819 1,249 1,887

Less than a high school diploma

2,158 293 373 457 578 756

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,077 358 456 605 825 1,153

Some college or associate degree

12,634 408 528 714 977 1,348

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,332 587 798 1,128 1,648 2,383

Bachelor's degree only

13,096 544 737 1,022 1,451 2,093

Advanced degree

8,236 698 938 1,334 1,913 2,875

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
2017
1st
2018
1st
2017
1st
2018

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

25,516 24,864 $256 $266

Men, 16 years and over

8,737 8,538 249 260

16 to 24 years

3,784 3,708 194 210

25 years and over

4,953 4,830 296 309

Women, 16 years and over

16,780 16,326 259 268

16 to 24 years

4,876 4,958 193 200

25 years and over

11,904 11,368 294 310

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,154 19,476 258 269

Men

6,661 6,552 251 261

Women

13,493 12,925 262 273

Black or African American

3,114 2,979 246 248

Men

1,229 1,027 237 245

Women

1,885 1,952 252 249

Asian

1,313 1,386 275 280

Men

473 536 295 290

Women

841 850 264 272

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,270 4,007 259 264

Men

1,459 1,520 263 260

Women

2,811 2,488 257 265

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 13, 2018