Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, July 19, 2017                       USDL-17-1011

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 2017


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 113.4 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $859 in the second quarter of 2017 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics reported today. This was 4.2 percent higher than a year earlier,
compared with a gain of 1.9 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:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $859 in the second quarter
     of 2017. Women had median weekly earnings of $780, or 83.5 percent of the
     $934 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women
     earned 84.1 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black
     women (96.3 percent), Asian women (74.2 percent), and Hispanic women (89.2
     percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black
     men working at full-time jobs were $702, or 73.0 percent of the median for
     White men ($961). The difference was less among women, as Black women's
     median earnings ($676) were 83.7 percent of those for White women ($808).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($657) were lower
     than Blacks ($689), Whites ($886), and Asians ($1,103). (See table 2.)

   --By age, median weekly earnings were highest for men age 35 to 64: weekly
     earnings for men age 35 to 44 were $1,065, $1,094 for men age 45 to 54, and
     $1,058 for men age 55 to 64 in the second quarter of 2017. For women, usual
     weekly earnings were also highest for those age 35 to 64: weekly earnings
     were $877 for women age 35 to 44, $851 for women age 45 to 54, and $869 for
     women age 55 to 64.  Men and women age 16 to 24 had the lowest median
     weekly earnings, $524 and $496, 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—-
     $1,442 for men and $1,055 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $598 and $508, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $515, compared with $718 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,290 for those holding at least a
     bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advance degrees (professional
     or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers
     made $3,784 or more per week, compared with $2,610 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $863 in the second quarter
     of 2017, little changed from the previous quarter ($855). (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
$

2008

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

102,161 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

103,896 57,885 46,011 768 860 699 331 370 301

2nd Quarter

103,976 57,938 46,038 777 866 706 335 373 304

3rd Quarter

104,429 58,099 46,330 779 855 706 334 366 303

4th Quarter

104,784 58,081 46,703 782 862 712 334 368 304

2014

1st Quarter

105,557 58,670 46,888 790 866 715 335 367 304

2nd Quarter

106,387 59,516 46,871 782 861 715 330 364 302

3rd Quarter

106,766 59,573 47,193 799 878 722 336 370 304

4th Quarter

107,413 60,059 47,354 794 876 723 335 370 305

2015

1st Quarter

108,404 60,356 48,048 801 887 723 340 377 307

2nd Quarter

108,630 60,453 48,177 804 891 726 339 376 307

3rd Quarter

109,297 61,017 48,280 811 897 728 341 377 306

4th Quarter

109,997 61,164 48,833 820 901 728 344 379 306

2016

1st Quarter

110,362 61,633 48,730 823 905 743 346 380 312

2nd Quarter

111,029 61,865 49,164 828 914 744 346 382 311

3rd Quarter

111,601 62,128 49,473 835 919 751 347 382 313

4th Quarter

111,361 62,094 49,268 843 922 757 348 380 313

2017

1st Quarter

111,915 62,465 49,450 855 940 759 350 385 311

2nd Quarter

113,129 63,006 50,123 863 938 779 354 385 319

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
2016
2nd
2017
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2016
2nd
2017
2nd
2016
2nd
2017

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

111,166 113,372 $824 $859 $343 $351

Men, 16 years and over

62,045 63,222 909 934 378 381

16 to 24 years

5,724 5,983 505 524 210 214

25 years and over

56,320 57,240 967 995 403 407

Women, 16 years and over

49,121 50,150 744 780 310 319

16 to 24 years

4,415 4,485 470 496 196 202

25 years and over

44,706 45,665 777 824 324 337

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

86,638 87,877 854 886 356 362

Men

49,241 50,227 941 961 392 393

Women

37,397 37,650 759 808 316 330

Black or African American

13,954 14,504 677 689 282 281

Men

6,838 6,988 704 702 293 287

Women

7,116 7,516 646 676 269 276

Asian

7,085 7,276 1,021 1,103 425 451

Men

3,963 3,970 1,147 1,254 478 512

Women

3,122 3,306 907 931 378 380

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,956 19,743 618 657 257 268

Men

11,718 12,041 652 686 272 280

Women

7,238 7,702 581 612 242 250

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 2017 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

113,372 $859 63,222 $934 50,150 $780

16 to 24 years

10,467 512 5,983 524 4,485 496

16 to 19 years

1,408 422 862 440 546 404

20 to 24 years

9,059 525 5,120 549 3,938 508

25 years and over

102,905 909 57,240 995 45,665 824

25 to 54 years

79,440 896 44,394 984 35,045 811

25 to 34 years

28,072 776 15,729 828 12,343 727

35 to 44 years

25,827 976 14,622 1,065 11,204 877

45 to 54 years

25,541 975 14,043 1,094 11,498 851

55 years and over

23,465 955 12,846 1,046 10,620 859

55 to 64 years

19,255 966 10,448 1,058 8,806 869

65 years and over

4,211 904 2,397 1,005 1,813 800

White

16 years and over

87,877 886 50,227 961 37,650 808

16 to 24 years

8,013 518 4,762 523 3,251 511

25 years and over

79,864 938 45,465 1,020 34,399 845

25 to 54 years

60,610 922 34,705 1,005 25,906 835

55 years and over

19,253 984 10,760 1,104 8,493 875

Black or African American

16 years and over

14,504 689 6,988 702 7,516 676

16 to 24 years

1,456 455 702 505 754 413

25 years and over

13,048 717 6,286 727 6,762 707

25 to 54 years

10,472 708 5,015 715 5,457 700

55 years and over

2,576 757 1,272 769 1,304 741

Asian

16 years and over

7,276 1,103 3,970 1,254 3,306 931

16 to 24 years

385 663 175 701 210 629

25 years and over

6,891 1,137 3,795 1,291 3,096 958

25 to 54 years

5,735 1,158 3,185 1,337 2,550 974

55 years and over

1,156 961 610 1,022 547 860

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

19,743 657 12,041 686 7,702 612

16 to 24 years

2,487 490 1,511 502 977 472

25 years and over

17,256 692 10,531 718 6,725 646

25 to 54 years

14,775 688 9,073 712 5,701 644

55 years and over

2,481 721 1,457 754 1,024 659

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
2016
2nd
2017
2nd
2016
2nd
2017

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

46,153 47,195 $1,174 $1,228

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

19,031 19,470 1,260 1,336

Professional and related occupations

27,122 27,724 1,138 1,167

Service occupations

15,275 15,833 512 549

Sales and office occupations

23,712 23,399 688 709

Sales and related occupations

9,872 9,884 730 757

Office and administrative support occupations

13,840 13,515 673 688

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,935 11,867 771 794

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

898 1,149 543 577

Construction and extraction occupations

5,935 6,204 784 780

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,102 4,513 819 876

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

15,092 15,078 663 699

Production occupations

8,105 7,861 662 698

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,986 7,217 664 700

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

22,304 22,639 1,405 1,442

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,191 10,306 1,441 1,514

Professional and related occupations

12,114 12,334 1,377 1,389

Service occupations

7,703 7,973 564 598

Sales and office occupations

9,535 9,382 775 790

Sales and related occupations

5,446 5,431 882 920

Office and administrative support occupations

4,088 3,951 695 716

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,491 11,314 778 805

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

699 886 570 606

Construction and extraction occupations

5,818 6,062 786 779

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

3,973 4,366 818 882

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,012 11,914 708 746

Production occupations

5,983 5,733 722 770

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,028 6,181 694 729

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

23,848 24,555 1,019 1,055

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,840 9,165 1,073 1,134

Professional and related occupations

15,009 15,390 994 1,020

Service occupations

7,572 7,861 480 508

Sales and office occupations

14,177 14,017 645 671

Sales and related occupations

4,426 4,453 580 627

Office and administrative support occupations

9,751 9,564 666 683

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

444 553 552 592

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

199 262 459 470

Construction and extraction occupations

117 142 685 797

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

128 148 848 760

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

3,080 3,164 532 539

Production occupations

2,122 2,129 535 558

Transportation and material moving occupations

958 1,036 528 513

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 2017 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

113,372 $410 $574 $859 $1,360 $2,087

Men

63,222 423 603 934 1,492 2,300

Women

50,150 397 527 780 1,181 1,827

White

87,877 418 588 886 1,387 2,110

Men

50,227 433 613 961 1,531 2,311

Women

37,650 405 547 808 1,210 1,850

Black or African American

14,504 374 488 689 1,014 1,523

Men

6,988 380 505 702 1,055 1,549

Women

7,516 364 471 676 973 1,489

Asian

7,276 438 652 1,103 1,825 2,519

Men

3,970 477 767 1,254 1,923 2,884

Women

3,306 407 579 931 1,608 2,116

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

19,743 375 463 657 988 1,520

Men

12,041 385 482 686 1,028 1,606

Women

7,702 343 439 612 912 1,371

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

102,905 431 606 909 1,420 2,147

Less than a high school diploma

7,173 330 404 515 724 999

High school graduates, no college(1)

26,242 395 515 718 1,021 1,489

Some college or associate degree

27,376 427 581 799 1,152 1,637

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

42,113 616 876 1,290 1,911 2,889

Bachelor's degree only

25,822 580 802 1,189 1,819 2,609

Advanced degree

16,291 719 1,005 1,451 2,205 3,156

Men, 25 years and over

57,240 458 645 995 1,565 2,384

Less than a high school diploma

4,915 361 422 583 787 1,065

High school graduates, no college(1)

16,423 418 574 797 1,155 1,661

Some college or associate degree

14,303 472 633 917 1,326 1,877

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,598 662 992 1,474 2,268 3,226

Bachelor's degree only

13,616 614 906 1,375 2,022 2,909

Advanced degree

7,982 768 1,140 1,732 2,522 3,784

Women, 25 years and over

45,665 412 567 824 1,239 1,878

Less than a high school diploma

2,258 301 376 444 572 793

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,819 371 470 620 847 1,156

Some college or associate degree

13,073 406 522 707 984 1,366

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

20,515 587 794 1,134 1,679 2,318

Bachelor's degree only

12,206 539 738 1,030 1,517 2,108

Advanced degree

8,309 673 919 1,270 1,882 2,610

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
2016
2nd
2017
2nd
2016
2nd
2017

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,808 24,651 $250 $262

Men, 16 years and over

8,645 8,368 245 257

16 to 24 years

3,739 3,687 192 200

25 years and over

4,906 4,681 292 308

Women, 16 years and over

16,163 16,283 253 265

16 to 24 years

4,745 4,819 190 198

25 years and over

11,419 11,464 288 301

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,578 19,349 252 269

Men

6,893 6,480 245 262

Women

12,685 12,869 256 272

Black or African American

2,999 2,952 237 230

Men

1,045 1,068 237 234

Women

1,954 1,884 237 228

Asian

1,280 1,279 267 281

Men

415 441 252 286

Women

865 838 280 278

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,987 4,014 241 263

Men

1,452 1,495 246 269

Women

2,535 2,519 238 260

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, 2017