April 24, 2003
The average weekly wages of all workers covered by State and federal unemployment insurance (UI) programs were $683 in the third quarter of 2002, an increase of 2.2 percent from the same quarter in 2001.
Among private sector industries, agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting had the fastest growing weekly wages in the third quarter of 2002, with a 4.7-percent over-the-year gain. This was followed by health care and social assistance (4.0 percent), educational services (3.7 percent), and arts, entertainment, and recreation, manufacturing, and utilities (3.4 percent each).
The information sector was the only industry sector to record an over-the-year decline in average weekly wages in the third quarter of 2002, falling by 0.5 percent. The information sector has experienced over-the-year declines in average weekly wages in each of the first three quarters of 2002. The pay declines in the information industry had a minimal effect on the U.S. average weekly wage since it accounted for only 4 percent of total wages in the third quarter.