Thursday, January 22, 2015
In 2013, California women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $772, or 89.4 percent of the $864 median usual weekly earnings for their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the women’s to men’s earnings ratio in California increased 4.0 percentage points from the previous year. Nationwide, women earned $706 per week, or 82.1 percent of the $860 median for men. (See table 1. Earnings in this report do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences.)
In California, the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings has ranged from a low of 82.9 percent in 2001 to a high of 90.2 percent in 2005. The ratio has remained above 85 percent since 2003. (See chart 1.)
Among the 50 states, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2013 ranged from $591 in Louisiana and Oklahoma to $900 in Massachusetts. States with the highest wages for women were located along the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to Massachusetts, women’s earnings in Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia were above $800 per week. In the District of Columbia, women earned a median weekly wage of $1,100.(See table 1 and see chart 2.)
Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Arkansas at $705 and highest in Massachusetts at $1,109. Three other states (Connecticut, Alaska, and Maryland) had weekly wages above $1,000 for full-time male workers. In the District of Columbia, men earned a median weekly wage of $1,212.
Vermont had the highest female-to-male earnings ratio among the states, 91.3 percent, and Wyoming had the lowest, 68.6 percent. The District of Columbia had a ratio of 90.8 percent. (See chart 3.) The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and in the age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, comparisons by gender are on a broad level and do not control for factors such as educational attainment which can be significant in explaining earnings differences.
The estimates in this report were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides a wide range of information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. This survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a national sample of about 60,000 households, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample.
Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for the states reflect, in part, variations in the occupation, industry, and age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data.
The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings series in this release are described below.
Usual weekly earnings. Data represent 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).
Median weekly earnings. The median is the amount which divides a given earnings distribution into two equal groups, one having earnings above the median and the other having earnings below the median.
Wage and salary workers. Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees in both the private and public sectors but, for the purposes of the earnings series, excludes all self-employed persons, regardless of whether or not their businesses are incorporated.
Full-time worker. Workers who usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job.
For more information on the median weekly earnings of women and men, see Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1051, Highlights of women’s earnings in 2013, available at www.bls.gov/opub/reports/cps/highlights-of-womens-earnings-in-2013.pdf.
Information in this release will be available to sensory impaired individuals upon request: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.
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, January 22, 2015