Wednesday, January 08, 2020
In 2018, California women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $876, or 88.3 percent of the $992 median usual weekly earnings of their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that the 2018 women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in California increased from 2017, up 4.9 percentage points. Nationwide, women earned $789 per week or 81.1 percent of the $973 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 California, the women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio has ranged from a low of 82.9 percent in 2001 to a high of 90.2 percent in 2005. The 2018 ratio of 88.3 percent was the highest since 2014. (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 2018 ranged from $637 in Mississippi to $995 in Massachusetts. In addition to Massachusetts, women’s earnings in Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey were above $900 per week. In the District of Columbia, women earned a median weekly wage of $1,259. (See table 1 and chart 2.)
Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Arkansas at $809 and highest in Massachusetts at $1,170. Five other states (Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and California) had weekly wages above $1,100 for full-time male workers. In the District of Columbia, men earned a median weekly wage of $1,445.
California had the highest women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio among the states, 88.3 percent, and Wyoming had the lowest, 67.8 percent. The District of Columbia had a ratio of 87.1 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, 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.
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.
The median of usual weekly earnings reflects 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 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.
For more information on the median weekly earnings of women and men, see Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1083, Highlights of women’s earnings in 2018, available at https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/womens-earnings/2018/.
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: Wednesday, January 08, 2020