Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday, July 17, 2019 	                USDL-19-1302

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 2019


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 117.6 million full-time wage and salary
workers were $908 in the second quarter of 2019 (not seasonally adjusted), the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 3.7 percent higher
than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.8 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 $908 in the second quarter
     of 2019. Women had median weekly earnings of $814, or 81.4 percent of the
     $1,000 median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White
     women earned 81.4 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared
     with 90.8 percent for Black women, 72.5 percent for Asian women, and 83.2
     percent for Hispanic women. (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings of Blacks
     ($724) and Hispanics ($696) working at full-time jobs were lower than those
     of Whites ($933) and Asians ($1,152). By sex, median weekly earnings for
     Black men were $761, or 74.2 percent of the median for White men ($1,026).
     Median earnings for Hispanic men were $746, or 72.7 percent of the median
     for White men. The difference was less among women, as Black women's median
     earnings were $691, or 82.8 percent of those for White women ($835), and
     earnings for Hispanic women were $621, or 74.4 percent of those for White
     women. Earnings of Asian men ($1,331) and women ($965) were higher than those
     of their White counterparts. (See table 2.) 

   --By age, median weekly earnings were highest for men ages 35 to 64: weekly
     earnings were $1,133 for men ages 35 to 44, $1,153 for men ages 45 to 54,
     and $1,158 for men ages 54 to 64. Usual weekly earnings were highest for
     women age 35 and over: median weekly earnings were $908 for women ages 35
     to 44, $899 for women ages 45 to 54, $869 for women ages 55 to 64, and $881
     for women age 65 and over. Men and women ages 16 to 24 had the lowest median
     weekly earnings, $601 and $522, 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--
     $1,540 for men and $1,117 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $637 and $530, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $588, compared with $751 for high
     school graduates (no college) and $1,357 for those holding at least a bachelor's
     degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (master's, professional,
     and doctoral degrees), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made
     $3,997 or more per week, compared with $2,822 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings edged up to $911 in the second quarter
     of 2019. (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
$

2010

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

105,633 58,682 46,951 790 865 716 335 367 304

2nd quarter

106,342 59,486 46,855 781 860 715 330 363 302

3rd quarter

106,726 59,543 47,183 798 878 721 336 370 304

4th quarter

107,436 60,123 47,313 795 878 724 336 371 306

2015

1st quarter

108,486 60,364 48,122 801 886 724 341 377 307

2nd quarter

108,544 60,400 48,144 803 890 726 339 376 306

3rd quarter

109,269 60,977 48,292 810 896 727 341 377 306

4th quarter

110,049 61,273 48,776 822 904 730 345 380 307

2016

1st quarter

110,427 61,627 48,799 823 903 743 346 380 312

2nd quarter

110,929 61,787 49,142 827 914 744 345 382 311

3rd quarter

111,566 62,082 49,483 833 917 750 346 381 312

4th quarter

111,463 62,249 49,214 846 924 760 349 382 314

2017

1st quarter

111,978 62,462 49,516 857 940 759 351 385 311

2nd quarter

113,118 62,942 50,176 862 939 780 353 385 320

3rd quarter

113,623 63,155 50,468 865 943 771 353 385 314

4th quarter

114,372 63,377 50,996 854 943 771 345 381 312

2018

1st quarter

114,678 64,007 50,671 874 955 776 350 383 311

2nd quarter

115,481 64,136 51,345 880 964 780 351 385 312

3rd quarter

115,945 64,198 51,747 893 980 801 355 389 318

4th quarter

116,160 64,237 51,923 897 991 796 355 392 315

2019

1st quarter

117,327 64,964 52,362 898 994 800 355 392 316

2nd quarter

117,279 65,033 52,245 911 1,005 812 357 394 318

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
2018
2nd
2019
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
2nd
2018
2nd
2019
2nd
2018
2nd
2019

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

115,758 117,567 $876 $908 $348 $355

Men, 16 years and over

64,437 65,354 959 1,000 381 391

16 to 24 years

6,009 6,100 528 601 210 235

25 years and over

58,428 59,254 1,015 1,059 404 414

Women, 16 years and over

51,321 52,214 780 814 310 318

16 to 24 years

4,656 4,805 511 522 203 204

25 years and over

46,665 47,408 824 855 328 334

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

89,250 90,285 907 933 361 365

Men

50,883 51,321 985 1,026 392 401

Women

38,367 38,964 815 835 324 326

Black or African American

14,951 15,301 683 724 272 283

Men

7,234 7,402 720 761 287 297

Women

7,717 7,900 644 691 256 270

Asian

7,635 7,952 1,083 1,152 431 450

Men

4,196 4,418 1,245 1,331 495 520

Women

3,439 3,534 918 965 365 377

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

20,422 21,122 674 696 268 272

Men

12,321 12,679 704 746 280 291

Women

8,101 8,444 621 621 247 242

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, 2nd quarter 2019 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

117,567 $908 65,354 $1,000 52,214 $814

16 to 24 years

10,905 571 6,100 601 4,805 522

16 to 19 years

1,408 460 838 507 570 407

20 to 24 years

9,497 589 5,262 615 4,235 548

25 years and over

106,662 960 59,254 1,059 47,408 855

25 to 54 years

81,673 947 45,438 1,035 36,235 852

25 to 34 years

29,477 837 16,490 893 12,986 779

35 to 44 years

26,525 1,022 15,075 1,133 11,450 908

45 to 54 years

25,672 1,025 13,874 1,153 11,798 899

55 years and over

24,989 999 13,815 1,141 11,174 871

55 to 64 years

19,967 1,009 10,888 1,158 9,079 869

65 years and over

5,022 949 2,927 1,039 2,095 881

White

16 years and over

90,285 933 51,321 1,026 38,964 835

16 to 24 years

8,392 586 4,760 617 3,632 536

25 years and over

81,893 987 46,561 1,096 35,332 874

25 to 54 years

61,709 972 35,157 1,063 26,552 868

55 years and over

20,184 1,026 11,404 1,193 8,780 894

Black or African American

16 years and over

15,301 724 7,402 761 7,900 691

16 to 24 years

1,510 490 753 513 757 460

25 years and over

13,792 758 6,649 832 7,143 720

25 to 54 years

10,928 756 5,281 823 5,647 718

55 years and over

2,864 769 1,368 870 1,496 728

Asian

16 years and over

7,952 1,152 4,418 1,331 3,534 965

16 to 24 years

423 701 257 677 166 757

25 years and over

7,529 1,185 4,161 1,365 3,368 974

25 to 54 years

6,086 1,266 3,368 1,403 2,717 1,020

55 years and over

1,444 989 793 1,118 651 863

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

21,122 696 12,679 746 8,444 621

16 to 24 years

2,550 533 1,475 568 1,074 508

25 years and over

18,573 724 11,203 784 7,369 653

25 to 54 years

15,601 724 9,437 782 6,164 654

55 years and over

2,971 726 1,767 795 1,205 649

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
2018
2nd
2019
2nd
2018
2nd
2019

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

48,615 49,611 $1,242 $1,295

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

19,679 20,621 1,346 1,372

Professional and related occupations

28,936 28,990 1,176 1,239

Service occupations

16,603 16,677 558 584

Sales and office occupations

23,330 23,764 734 761

Sales and related occupations

9,927 9,687 781 871

Office and administrative support occupations

13,403 14,077 711 729

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

11,451 11,774 836 866

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

788 948 612 562

Construction and extraction occupations

6,390 6,615 802 863

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,273 4,210 955 946

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

15,758 15,742 703 731

Production occupations

7,847 7,969 739 752

Transportation and material moving occupations

7,911 7,773 670 712

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

23,713 24,037 1,463 1,540

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,524 11,076 1,515 1,557

Professional and related occupations

13,189 12,961 1,428 1,527

Service occupations

7,966 7,996 615 637

Sales and office occupations

9,353 9,677 813 903

Sales and related occupations

5,408 5,345 941 1,038

Office and administrative support occupations

3,945 4,332 705 772

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,990 11,233 840 882

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

622 677 634 598

Construction and extraction occupations

6,200 6,454 802 871

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,168 4,102 950 953

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,414 12,411 757 790

Production occupations

5,865 5,910 812 826

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,550 6,501 704 752

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

24,902 25,575 1,080 1,117

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

9,155 9,546 1,170 1,176

Professional and related occupations

15,747 16,029 1,019 1,070

Service occupations

8,637 8,681 512 530

Sales and office occupations

13,977 14,087 693 718

Sales and related occupations

4,519 4,342 630 711

Office and administrative support occupations

9,458 9,745 713 719

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

462 540 741 568

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

166 271 472 500

Construction and extraction occupations

191 161 797 705

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

105 109 1,148 808

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

3,344 3,331 555 584

Production occupations

1,982 2,059 583 595

Transportation and material moving occupations

1,362 1,272 522 553

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 2019 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

117,567 $454 $611 $908 $1,432 $2,270

Men

65,354 488 659 1,000 1,580 2,479

Women

52,214 417 566 814 1,247 1,887

White

90,285 472 629 933 1,467 2,291

Men

51,321 500 684 1,026 1,632 2,504

Women

38,964 425 582 835 1,263 1,896

Black or African American

15,301 394 518 724 1,111 1,557

Men

7,402 408 546 761 1,144 1,635

Women

7,900 381 502 691 1,064 1,489

Asian

7,952 494 700 1,152 1,900 2,805

Men

4,418 527 779 1,331 2,101 2,914

Women

3,534 473 627 965 1,695 2,406

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

21,122 403 512 696 1,021 1,573

Men

12,679 431 549 746 1,115 1,671

Women

8,444 382 485 621 921 1,418

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

106,662 483 646 960 1,494 2,304

Less than a high school diploma

7,355 385 477 588 774 1,090

High school graduates, no college(1)

26,569 427 562 751 1,075 1,521

Some college or associate degree

27,342 478 612 848 1,213 1,695

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

45,396 649 907 1,357 2,044 2,989

Bachelor's degree only

27,825 607 841 1,236 1,882 2,769

Advanced degree

17,572 756 1,049 1,561 2,319 3,449

Men, 25 years and over

59,254 511 701 1,059 1,666 2,519

Less than a high school diploma

5,027 423 508 644 869 1,183

High school graduates, no college(1)

16,339 480 613 851 1,206 1,691

Some college or associate degree

14,556 517 691 987 1,385 1,911

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

23,331 695 1,026 1,565 2,364 3,447

Bachelor's degree only

14,657 658 950 1,421 2,177 3,107

Advanced degree

8,674 797 1,190 1,886 2,723 3,997

Women, 25 years and over

47,408 444 596 855 1,304 1,913

Less than a high school diploma

2,328 322 407 496 603 747

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,230 385 501 644 859 1,174

Some college or associate degree

12,786 434 558 734 1,013 1,353

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

22,065 612 840 1,179 1,737 2,424

Bachelor's degree only

13,167 567 766 1,071 1,543 2,213

Advanced degree

8,898 733 951 1,363 1,917 2,822

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
2018
2nd
2019
2nd
2018
2nd
2019

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,428 23,854 $267 $277

Men, 16 years and over

8,460 8,121 258 263

16 to 24 years

3,524 3,498 215 209

25 years and over

4,936 4,623 303 323

Women, 16 years and over

15,968 15,733 272 285

16 to 24 years

4,738 4,642 206 224

25 years and over

11,230 11,091 307 317

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

19,155 18,716 271 279

Men

6,563 6,363 261 262

Women

12,592 12,353 277 288

Black or African American

2,991 2,871 248 275

Men

1,065 1,010 248 265

Women

1,926 1,860 248 280

Asian

1,304 1,284 252 283

Men

458 357 250 289

Women

846 927 253 282

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,342 4,137 264 276

Men

1,626 1,467 264 280

Women

2,716 2,670 264 274

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, 2019