Thursday, April 20, 2023
In 2021, North Carolina women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $803, or 84.2 percent of the $954 median usual weekly earnings of their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Victoria G. Lee noted that the 2021 women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio of 84.2 percent compared to 81.1 percent in 2020. Nationwide, women earned $912 per week, or 83.1 percent of the $1,097 median for men. (See chart 1 and table 1.) The earnings comparisons in this release are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be important in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.
In North Carolina, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has ranged from a low of 75.6 percent in 1999 to a high of 88.4 percent in 2009. The state’s ratio has remained above 80 percent since 2003. (Data for the states began in 1997.)
Among the 50 states, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2021 ranged from $722 in Mississippi to $1,157 in Massachusetts. Women’s earnings in eight states and the District of Columbia exceeded $1,000 per week. (See map 1.)
Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Mississippi at $864 and highest in Massachusetts at $1,386. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia had weekly wages above $1,000 for full-time male workers.
Rhode Island had the highest women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio among the states, 91.5 percent, and Utah had the lowest, 74.6 percent. The District of Columbia had a ratio of 83.2 percent. (See map 2.) The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and differences in the demographic composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national estimates. Consequently, earnings comparisons between states should be made with caution.
The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. The survey is conducted monthly for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau using a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The survey data on earnings are based on 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 the data presented in this release.
Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. Further information about the reliability of data from the CPS is available on the CPS Technical Documentation page of the BLS website.
The principal concepts and definitions used in connection with the earnings data in this release are described briefly below.
Wage and salary workers are people age 16 and older who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payments-in-kind, or piece rates on their sole or principal job. This group includes employees in both the public and private sectors. All self-employed workers are excluded whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Full-time workers are defined for the purposes of these estimates as those who usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job.
Usual weekly earnings reflect 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). Respondents are 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.
Median earnings reflect 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.
For more information on the median weekly earnings of women and men, see Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1102, Highlights of women’s earnings in 2021.
Information in this release will be made available to individuals with sensory impairments upon request. Voice phone: (202)-691-5200; Telecommunications Relay Service: 7-1-1.
earnings as a
District of Columbia
Note: In general, the sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national estimates; thus, comparisons of state estimates should be made with caution. Data shown are based on workers' state of residence; workers' reported earnings, however, may or may not be from a job located in the same state.
Last Modified Date: Thursday, April 20, 2023