October 17, 2002
The average weekly wages of all workers covered by state and federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs rose to $718 in the first quarter of 2002, an increase of 0.3 percent from the same quarter in 2001. This increase was the second lowest in the past ten years.
The sectors with the fastest growing weekly wages were administrative and waste services and health care and social assistance, both with a 4.1 percent over-the-year gain. These were followed by agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (3.4 percent).
Some sectors recorded over-the-year declines in average weekly wages in the first quarter of 2002. Average weekly wages in finance and insurance fell by 7.0 percent, as the extreme example. This was followed by management of companies and enterprises (-3.2 percent) and information (-2.7 percent).
These data are products of the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program. The Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program uses the 2002 version of the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) as the basis for the tabulation of economic data by industry. The NAICS structure is significantly different from that of the 1987 Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system, which had been used for industry classification purposes until this year. Due to these differences, industry data for 2001 are not comparable to the SIC-based data for earlier years. For more information, see Employment and Wages in First Quarter 2002: New Quarterly Series from BLS, news release USDL 02-591.