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Economic News Release
CPS CPS Program Links

Usual Weekly Earnings Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, January 21, 2021 	                   	 USDL-21-0080

Technical information:  *
Media contact:	        (202) 691-5902  *

                               FOURTH QUARTER 2020

Median weekly earnings of the nation's 111.5 million full-time wage and salary
workers were $984 in the fourth quarter of 2020 (not seasonally adjusted), the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 5.1 percent higher than
a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.2 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 fourth-quarter data:

 --Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $984 in the fourth quarter of
   2020. (See table 2.)
 --Women had median weekly earnings of $894, or 83.4 percent of the $1,072 median
   for men. (See table 2.)

 --The women's-to-men's earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned
   82.3 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with 95.7 percent for Black
   women, 74.9 percent for Asian women, and 91.8 percent for Hispanic women. (See table 2.)

 --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings of Blacks ($792)
   and Hispanics ($742) working full-time jobs were lower than those of Whites ($1,007)
   and Asians ($1,261). By sex, median weekly earnings for Black men were $810, or 73.1
   percent of the median for White men ($1,108). Median earnings for Hispanic men were
   $769, or 69.4 percent of the median for White men. The difference was less among women,
   as Black women's median earnings were $775, or 85.0 percent of those for White women
   ($912), and earnings for Hispanic women were $706, or 77.4 percent of those for White
   women. Earnings of Asian men ($1,457) and women ($1,091) were higher than those of their
   White counterparts. (See table 2.) 

 --By age, median weekly earnings were highest for men ages 45 to 54 ($1,232) and men ages
   55 to 64 ($1,222). Among women, usual weekly earnings were highest for women ages 35 to
   64: median weekly earnings were $980 for women ages 35 to 44, $982 for women ages 45 to
   54, and $966 for women ages 55 to 64. Men and women ages 16 to 24 had the lowest median
   weekly earnings, $625 and $596, 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--$1,572 for men and $1,168
   for women. Men and women employed in service occupations earned the least, $715 and $581,
   respectively. (See table 4.)

 --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school
   diploma had median weekly earnings of $608, compared with $781 for high school graduates
   (no college) and $1,421 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 $3,911 or more per week, compared with $2,975 or
   more for their female counterparts. (See table 5.)

 --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $983 in the fourth quarter of 2020, little
   changed from the previous quarter. (See table 1.)

2020 Annual Averages

In addition to the data for the fourth quarter, this news release includes 2020 annual 
averages on median weekly earnings for major demographic, occupational, and educational 
attainment groups. (See tables 7, 8, and 9.) Annual average data on median usual weekly 
earnings for men and women by detailed occupational categories will be posted online at when they become available.

|											     |
|            Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on Usual Weekly Earnings Data            |
|											     |
| Usual weekly earnings data for the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as annual averages for  |
| the year, reflect the impact on the labor market of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic    |
| and efforts to contain it. Changes in weekly earnings during 2020 and changes from 2019    |
| to 2020 must be interpreted with caution due to the pandemic-related employment	     |
| declines in 2020, notably among lower-paid workers, which put upward pressure on median    |
| weekly earnings estimates. More information on labor market developments in recent 	     |
| months is available at   |
| the-employment-situation-news-release.htm.						     |

|											     |
|                Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data		     |
|											     |
| Seasonally adjusted median usual weekly earnings data shown in table 1 of this news	     |
| release have been revised using updated seasonal adjustment factors from the Current 	     |
| Population Survey, a procedure done at the end of each calendar year. The revisions	     |
| directly affected the number of full-time wage and salary workers and current dollar	     |
| estimates of median weekly earnings; estimates of constant (1982-84) dollar median weekly  |
| earnings were indirectly affected. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to the first quarter |
| of 2016 were subject to revision.							     |
|											     |
| The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the first quarter of 2021, scheduled for	     |
| release on April 16, 2021, will incorporate revisions to the seasonally adjusted data	     |
| for the median weekly earnings in constant (1982-84) dollars. Seasonally adjusted constant |
| (1982-84) dollar estimates back to the first quarter of 2016 will be subject to revision   |
| due to annual revisions to seasonally adjusted data for the Consumer Price Index for All   |
| Urban Consumers (CPI-U).								     |

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Last Modified Date: January 21, 2021