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Tuesday, February 14, 2017
In 2015, Alaska women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $787, or 76.1 percent of the $1,034 median usual weekly earnings for their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the women’s to men’s earnings ratio in Alaska decreased 3.0 percentage points from the previous year. Nationwide, women earned $726 per week, or 81.1 percent of the $895 median for men. (See table 1. Earnings in this release do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences.)
In Alaska, the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings has ranged from a low of 70.9 percent in both 1998 and 1999 to a high of 79.2 percent in 2001. The ratio has generally trended upward since 2009. (See chart 1. Data for the states began in 1997.)
Among the 50 states, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2015 ranged from $591 in Mississippi to $907 in Massachusetts. In addition to Massachusetts, women’s earnings in Maryland, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Virginia were at or above $825 per week. In the District of Columbia, women earned a median weekly wage of $1,070. (See table 1 and chart 2.)
Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Tennessee at $756 and highest in Connecticut at $1,139. Six other states (Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Alaska, Virginia, and Washington) had weekly wages above $1,000 for full-time male workers. In the District of Columbia, men earned a median weekly wage of $1,224.
Hawaii had the highest female-to-male earnings ratio among the states, 87.9 percent, and Wyoming had the lowest, 69.0 percent. The District of Columbia had a ratio of 87.4 percent. (See chart 3.) 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, earnings comparisons by gender are on a broad level and do not control for factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.
The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. This survey is conducted monthly for the 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 earnings data are collected from 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 report.
Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for 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 general, the sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data; thus, comparisons of state estimates should be made with caution.
The principal concepts and definitions used in connection with the earnings data in this release are described briefly below.
Usual weekly earnings. The 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). 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.
Medians of usual weekly earnings. The earnings estimates shown in this release are medians. The median is 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.
Wage and salary workers. These are workers 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 worker. People who usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job are defined as working full time for the purpose of these estimates.
For more information on the median weekly earnings of women and men, see Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1064, Highlights of women’s earnings in 2015, available at www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-earnings/2015/pdf/home.pdf.
Information in this release will be available to sensory impaired individuals upon request: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
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: Tuesday, February 14, 2017