Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 18, 2017                         USDL-17-0442

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 2017


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 110.7 million full-time wage and salary workers
were $865 in the first 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 again of 2.5 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 first-quarter data:

   --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $865 in the first quarter of
     2017. Women had median weekly earnings of $765, or 80.5 percent of the $950
     median for men. (See table 2.)

   --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women
     earned 80.9 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black
     women (89.3 percent), Asian women (74.0 percent), and Hispanic women (86.1
     percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black
     men working at full-time jobs were $722, or 73.9 percent of the median for
     White men ($977). The difference was less among women, as Black women's
     median earnings ($645) were 81.6 percent of those for White women ($790).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($649) were
     lower than those of Blacks ($679), Whites ($894), and Asians ($1,019).
     (See table 2.)

   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, median
     weekly earnings were highest for those age 45 to 54 ($1,141). Usual weekly
     earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64: weekly earnings were $846 for
     women age 35 to 44, $863 for women age 45 to 54, and $836 for women age 55
     to 64. Men and women age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings,
     $558 and $489, 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-
     $1,436 for men and $1,044 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs
     earned the least, $624 and $497, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $512, compared with $702 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,280 for those holding at least a
     bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (professional
     or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers
     made $3,871 or more per week, compared with $2,653 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings edged up to $855 in the first
     quarter of 2017. (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 the release.) Seasonally adjusted constant (1982-84)    |
  |dollar estimates back to the first quarter of 2012 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
$

2008

1st Quarter

107,786 60,378 47,408 713 783 633 335 368 298

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

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
2016
1st
2017
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
1st
2016
1st
2017
1st
2016
1st
2017

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

109,147 110,706 $830 $865 $350 $355

Men, 16 years and over

60,639 61,488 912 950 384 390

16 to 24 years

5,278 5,335 511 558 215 229

25 years and over

55,361 56,153 963 998 406 410

Women, 16 years and over

48,508 49,218 750 765 316 314

16 to 24 years

4,065 4,174 488 489 205 201

25 years and over

44,443 45,044 779 803 328 330

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

85,226 86,068 857 894 361 367

Men

48,482 49,025 936 977 394 401

Women

36,744 37,043 767 790 323 324

Black or African American

13,582 14,085 673 679 283 279

Men

6,492 6,629 732 722 308 297

Women

7,090 7,456 625 645 263 265

Asian

6,742 7,077 1,032 1,019 435 419

Men

3,721 3,934 1,159 1,205 488 495

Women

3,021 3,144 933 892 393 366

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,545 18,958 612 649 258 267

Men

11,273 11,362 641 692 270 284

Women

7,273 7,596 574 596 242 245

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 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

110,706 $865 61,488 $950 49,218 $765

16 to 24 years

9,509 516 5,335 558 4,174 489

16 to 19 years

1,050 426 629 482 421 394

20 to 24 years

8,459 528 4,706 578 3,753 502

25 years and over

101,197 908 56,153 998 45,044 803

25 to 54 years

78,136 897 43,654 982 34,482 795

25 to 34 years

27,615 778 15,525 825 12,090 716

35 to 44 years

25,077 947 14,154 1,050 10,923 846

45 to 54 years

25,443 1,001 13,975 1,141 11,469 863

55 years and over

23,061 951 12,499 1,045 10,562 828

55 to 64 years

18,828 962 10,169 1,061 8,659 836

65 years and over

4,233 900 2,330 979 1,903 800

White

16 years and over

86,068 894 49,025 977 37,043 790

16 to 24 years

7,218 526 4,184 579 3,034 493

25 years and over

78,851 937 44,841 1,025 34,010 827

25 to 54 years

59,927 924 34,374 1,009 25,553 820

55 years and over

18,923 984 10,467 1,098 8,456 855

Black or African American

16 years and over

14,085 679 6,629 722 7,456 645

16 to 24 years

1,389 435 638 416 752 452

25 years and over

12,695 709 5,991 756 6,704 672

25 to 54 years

10,247 704 4,834 753 5,412 661

55 years and over

2,449 725 1,157 768 1,291 708

Asian

16 years and over

7,077 1,019 3,934 1,205 3,144 892

16 to 24 years

480 600 278 569 202 630

25 years and over

6,597 1,089 3,655 1,247 2,942 921

25 to 54 years

5,381 1,117 3,015 1,271 2,366 921

55 years and over

1,216 970 640 1,112 576 921

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

18,958 649 11,362 692 7,596 596

16 to 24 years

2,202 483 1,314 498 888 459

25 years and over

16,756 687 10,047 725 6,709 623

25 to 54 years

14,219 681 8,535 720 5,683 620

55 years and over

2,537 715 1,512 769 1,025 645

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
2016
1st
2017
1st
2016
1st
2017

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

45,297 46,864 $1,174 $1,216

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

18,940 19,513 1,281 1,307

Professional and related occupations

26,357 27,351 1,134 1,152

Service occupations

15,709 15,494 526 549

Sales and office occupations

23,484 23,556 693 723

Sales and related occupations

9,484 9,987 739 763

Office and administrative support occupations

14,000 13,569 676 706

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,508 10,773 789 791

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

704 762 504 522

Construction and extraction occupations

5,529 5,612 772 787

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,275 4,399 880 864

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

14,150 14,019 644 690

Production occupations

7,200 7,232 644 702

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,950 6,787 643 672

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

21,928 22,841 1,431 1,436

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

10,118 10,611 1,539 1,525

Professional and related occupations

11,810 12,230 1,356 1,384

Service occupations

7,852 7,613 609 624

Sales and office occupations

9,287 9,468 808 841

Sales and related occupations

5,440 5,600 898 935

Office and administrative support occupations

3,847 3,868 705 740

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,096 10,318 799 797

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

584 635 517 549

Construction and extraction occupations

5,410 5,435 776 786

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,102 4,248 886 869

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

11,477 11,248 675 736

Production occupations

5,416 5,378 698 768

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,060 5,870 652 710

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

23,369 24,023 1,024 1,044

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,822 8,902 1,108 1,136

Professional and related occupations

14,547 15,121 986 1,002

Service occupations

7,857 7,881 483 497

Sales and office occupations

14,197 14,088 649 673

Sales and related occupations

4,044 4,387 590 598

Office and administrative support occupations

10,152 9,701 668 697

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

412 455 579 577

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

120 127 453 423

Construction and extraction occupations

119 177 519 827

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

173 151 683 753

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,674 2,771 539 535

Production occupations

1,784 1,854 521 549

Transportation and material moving occupations

890 917 588 511

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 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

110,706 $407 $575 $865 $1,367 $2,081

Men

61,488 432 610 950 1,525 2,310

Women

49,218 385 518 765 1,182 1,774

White

86,068 419 591 894 1,403 2,111

Men

49,025 455 628 977 1,553 2,322

Women

37,043 393 535 790 1,212 1,802

Black or African American

14,085 355 468 679 1,030 1,528

Men

6,629 357 476 722 1,130 1,667

Women

7,456 353 461 645 987 1,418

Asian

7,077 450 635 1,019 1,757 2,574

Men

3,934 487 717 1,205 1,889 2,890

Women

3,144 403 576 892 1,461 2,217

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

18,958 368 462 649 991 1,559

Men

11,362 386 490 692 1,062 1,735

Women

7,596 337 422 596 886 1,335

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

101,197 426 601 908 1,425 2,147

Less than a high school diploma

6,709 317 396 512 708 994

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,084 392 508 702 1,018 1,482

Some college or associate degree

27,236 425 581 791 1,157 1,600

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

42,168 605 869 1,280 1,911 2,884

Bachelor's degree only

26,094 577 803 1,179 1,798 2,584

Advanced degree

16,074 708 993 1,471 2,198 3,192

Men, 25 years and over

56,153 464 647 998 1,579 2,385

Less than a high school diploma

4,493 346 428 576 784 1,102

High school graduates, no college(1)

15,327 427 568 792 1,153 1,647

Some college or associate degree

14,584 472 638 922 1,314 1,853

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

21,750 664 959 1,490 2,276 3,220

Bachelor's degree only

13,739 618 902 1,369 2,004 2,902

Advanced degree

8,011 753 1,145 1,756 2,510 3,871

Women, 25 years and over

45,044 398 552 803 1,232 1,857

Less than a high school diploma

2,216 280 351 433 567 745

High school graduates, no college(1)

9,758 353 452 602 811 1,153

Some college or associate degree

12,652 398 519 695 969 1,313

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

20,418 576 794 1,135 1,616 2,314

Bachelor's degree only

12,355 518 730 1,026 1,484 2,106

Advanced degree

8,063 665 919 1,275 1,847 2,653

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
2016
1st
2017
1st
2016
1st
2017

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

25,309 25,516 $246 $256

Men, 16 years and over

8,655 8,737 245 249

16 to 24 years

3,768 3,784 193 194

25 years and over

4,888 4,953 293 296

Women, 16 years and over

16,654 16,780 248 259

16 to 24 years

4,909 4,876 186 193

25 years and over

11,745 11,904 285 294

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,007 20,154 249 258

Men

6,728 6,661 243 251

Women

13,278 13,493 252 262

Black or African American

3,095 3,114 232 246

Men

1,123 1,229 241 237

Women

1,972 1,885 227 252

Asian

1,284 1,313 257 275

Men

453 473 263 295

Women

831 841 253 264

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4,209 4,270 241 259

Men

1,544 1,459 248 263

Women

2,665 2,811 238 257

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 18, 2017