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Real average weekly earnings decreased 1.6 percent over the 12 months ending October 2021

November 23, 2021

Real average weekly earnings of employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased 1.6 percent from October 2020 to October 2021. In every month from April 2021 to October 2021, the 12-month changes in real average weekly earnings have been decreases, ranging from −0.8 percent to −2.6 percent.  

12-month percent change in real average weekly earnings, seasonally adjusted, January 2017–October 2021
Month Real average weekly earnings

Jan 2017

-0.5%

Feb 2017

-0.3

Mar 2017

-0.1

Apr 2017

0.3

May 2017

0.4

Jun 2017

0.8

Jul 2017

0.9

Aug 2017

0.9

Sep 2017

0.6

Oct 2017

0.3

Nov 2017

0.5

Dec 2017

0.9

Jan 2018

0.6

Feb 2018

0.9

Mar 2018

1.0

Apr 2018

0.6

May 2018

0.8

Jun 2018

0.4

Jul 2018

0.3

Aug 2018

0.8

Sep 2018

0.8

Oct 2018

1.1

Nov 2018

0.8

Dec 2018

1.5

Jan 2019

2.0

Feb 2019

1.7

Mar 2019

1.6

Apr 2019

1.0

May 2019

1.1

Jun 2019

1.4

Jul 2019

1.0

Aug 2019

1.4

Sep 2019

1.3

Oct 2019

1.1

Nov 2019

0.9

Dec 2019

0.1

Jan 2020

0.0

Feb 2020

0.7

Mar 2020

0.8

Apr 2020

7.2

May 2020

7.4

Jun 2020

4.8

Jul 2020

4.6

Aug 2020

4.2

Sep 2020

4.5

Oct 2020

4.5

Nov 2020

4.8

Dec 2020

5.3

Jan 2021

5.9

Feb 2021

4.1

Mar 2021

4.0

Apr 2021

-1.7

May 2021

-2.6

Jun 2021

-1.2

Jul 2021

-0.9

Aug 2021

-1.4

Sep 2021

-0.8

Oct 2021

-1.6

Note: Real earnings data for the most recent 2 months are preliminary. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is used to deflate the earnings data.

From April 2020 to March 2021, the 12-month changes in real average earnings were all increases, between 4.0 percent to 7.4 percent. Prior to that, from January 2017 until March 2020, the over-the-year change in real average weekly earnings ranged from −0.5 percent to 2.0 percent.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics and are seasonally adjusted. Earnings data for the most recent 2 months are preliminary. For more information, see "Real Earnings — October 2021." The Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers is used to adjust earnings for inflation.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Real average weekly earnings decreased 1.6 percent over the 12 months ending October 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/real-average-weekly-earnings-decreased-1-6-percent-over-the-12-months-ending-october-2021.htm (visited December 03, 2021).

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