Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers News Release

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, October 19, 2010                  USDL-10-1450

Technical information:  (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
Media contact:          (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


     USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS -- THIRD QUARTER 2010


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 101.4 million full-time wage and salary
workers were $740 in the third quarter of 2010 (not seasonally adjusted), the
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 0.3 percent higher
than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.2 percent in the Consumer Price
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.

Data on usual weekly earnings are collected as part of the Current Population
Survey, a nationwide sample survey of households in which respondents are asked,
among other things, how much each wage and salary worker usually earns. (See the
Technical Note.) Data shown in this release are not seasonally adjusted unless
otherwise specified. Highlights from the third-quarter data are:

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $745 in the third quarter
     of 2010, little changed from the previous quarter, $744. (See table 1.)

   --On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $740 in
     the third quarter of 2010. Women who usually worked full time had median
     weekly earnings of $662, or 81.4 percent of the $813 median for men. (See
     table 2.)

   --The female-to-male earnings ratio was lowest among Asians and whites
     (80.3 and 80.7 percent, respectively), compared with blacks (93.1 per-
     cent) and Hispanics (93.3 percent). (See table 2.)

   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median earnings for black men
     working at full-time jobs were $634 per week, 75.6 percent of the median
     for white men, $839. The difference was less among women, as black women's
     median earnings ($590) were 87.1 percent of those for white women ($677).
     Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($522) were
     lower than those of blacks ($611), whites ($759), and Asians ($854). (See
     table 2.)

   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those
     age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $941
     and $983, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were highest for women from
     age 35 to 64; median weekly earnings were $729 for women age 35 to 44 and
     age 45 to 54, essentially the same as the $739 median for women age 55 to
     64. (See table 3.)

   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time  in manage-
     ment, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly
     earnings--$1,255 for men and $921 for women. Men and women employed in ser-
     vice jobs earned the least, $511 and $425, respectively. (See table 4.)

   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high
     school diploma had median weekly earnings of $449, compared with $622 for
     high school graduates (no college) and $1,158 for those holding at least a
     bachelor's degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (profes-
     sional or master's degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of
     male workers made $3,146 or more per week, compared with $2,207 or more
     for their female counterparts. (See table 5.)

     _______________________________________________________________________
    |                                                                       |
    |        Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data     |
    |                                                                       |
    |The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the fourth quarter of 2010  |
    |will incorporate annual revisions to seasonally adjusted data for the  |
    |number of full-time wage and salary workers and median weekly earnings |
    |in current dollars. (See table 1.) Estimates for constant (1982-84)    |
    |dollar median weekly earnings also will be affected by revisions to the|
    |current dollar series. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to the first |
    |quarter of 2006 will be subject to revision.                           |
    |                                                                       |
    |_______________________________________________________________________|





Technical Note


   The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey (CPS), which provides basic information on the labor 
force, employment, and unemployment.  The survey is conducted monthly 
for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau from a 
scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 households, 
with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The earn-
ings data are collected from one-quarter of the CPS monthly sample and 
are limited to wage and salary workers (both incorporated and unincor-
porated self-employed are excluded).  The data, therefore, exclude self-
employment income.

   Information in this release will be made available to sensory
impaired individuals upon request.  Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200;
Federal Relay Service:  (800) 877-8339.

Reliability

   Statistics based on the CPS are subject to both sampling and non-
sampling error.  When a sample rather than the entire population is
surveyed, there is a chance that the sample estimates may differ from
the "true" population values they represent.  The exact difference, or
sampling error, varies depending on the particular sample selected,
and this variability is measured by the standard error of the estimate.
There is about a 90-percent chance, or level of confidence, that an
estimate based on a sample will differ by no more than 1.6 standard
errors from the "true" population value because of sampling error.
BLS analyses are generally conducted at the 90-percent level of
confidence.

   The CPS data also are affected by nonsampling error.  Nonsampling
errors can occur for many reasons, including the failure to sample a
segment of the population, inability to obtain information for all
respondents in the sample, inability or unwillingness of respondents
to provide correct information on a timely basis, mistakes made by
respondents, and errors made in the collection or processing of the
data.

   A full discussion of the reliability of data from the Current Pop-
ulation Survey and information on estimating standard errors is avail-
able on the BLS Web site www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#reliability.

Definitions

   The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings
series are described briefly 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).
Prior to 1994, respondents were asked how much they usually earned per
week.  Since January 1994, respondents have been asked to identify the
easiest way for them to report earnings (hourly, weekly, biweekly,
twice monthly, monthly, annually, 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 as perceived by the respondent.
If the respondent asks for a definition of usual, interviewers are in-
structed to define the term as more than half the weeks worked during
the past 4 or 5 months.

   Medians (and other quantiles) of weekly earnings.  The median (or
upper limit of the second quartile) 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.  Ten
percent of a given distribution have earnings below the upper limit of
the first decile (90 percent have higher earnings); 25 percent have
earnings below the upper limit of the first quartile (75 percent have
higher earnings); 75 percent have earnings below the upper limit of
the third quartile (25 percent have higher earnings); and 90 percent
have earnings below the upper limit of the ninth decile (10 percent
have higher earnings).
   
   The estimation procedure places each reported or calculated weekly
earnings value into $50-wide intervals which are centered around
multiples of $50.  The actual value is estimated through the linear
interpolation of the interval in which the quantile boundary lies.

   Over-the-year changes in the medians (and other quantile boundaries)
for specific groups may not necessarily be consistent with the movements
estimated for the overall quantile boundary.  The most common reasons
for this possible anomaly are:  (1) There could be a change in the rel-
ative weights of the subgroups.  For example, the medians of both 16-
to-24 year olds and those 25 years and over may rise; but if the lower-
earning 16-to-24 group accounts for a greatly increased share of the
total, the overall median could actually fall.  (2) There could be a
large change in the shape of the distribution of reported earnings,
particularly near a quantile boundary.  This could be caused by survey
observations that are clustered at rounded values, such as $250, $300,
or $400.  An estimate lying in a $50-wide centered interval containing
such a cluster or "spike" tends to change more slowly than one in other
intervals.

   Wage and salary workers.  Workers who receive wages, salaries, com-
missions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates.  The group includes em-
ployees 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 workers.  Workers who usually work 35 hours or more per
week at their sole or principal job.

   Part-time workers.  Workers who usually work fewer than 35 hours
per week at their sole or principal job.

   Constant dollars.  The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers
(CPI-U) is used to convert current dollars to constant (1982-84) dollars.

   Hispanic or Latino ethnicity.  Refers to persons who identified
themselves in the enumeration process as being Spanish, Hispanic, or
Latino.  Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino
may be of any race.

Seasonal adjustment

   Over the course of a year, the size of the nation's labor force and 
other measures of labor market activity undergo regularly occurring 
fluctuations. These recurring events include seasonal changes in weather, 
major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools. The effect of 
such seasonal variations can be very large.

   Because seasonal events follow a more or less regular pattern each 
year, their influence on the level of a series can be tempered by adjust-
ing for regular seasonal variation. These adjustments make nonseasonal 
developments easier to spot. The seasonally adjusted figures provide a more 
useful tool with which to analyze changes in quarter-to-quarter activity.

   At the end of each calendar year, the seasonally adjusted data are re-
vised for the past 5 years when the seasonal adjustment factors are updated.  
More information on seasonal adjustment is available on the BLS Web site at 
www.bls.gov/cps/documentation.htm#sa.




Table 1. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by sex, quarterly averages, seasonally adjusted
Year and quarter Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
Total Men Women In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
Total
$
Men
$
Women
$
Total
$
Men
$
Women
$

2001

3rd Quarter

101,096 56,910 44,186 601 685 510 338 386 287

4th Quarter

100,343 56,541 43,802 603 677 519 340 382 292

2002

1st Quarter

99,924 56,096 43,829 607 677 525 341 380 295

2nd Quarter

100,286 56,640 43,646 608 678 524 339 378 292

3rd Quarter

100,183 56,390 43,793 608 679 531 337 376 294

4th Quarter

99,895 56,224 43,670 610 683 540 336 376 298

2003

1st Quarter

100,136 56,079 44,057 615 689 546 335 376 297

2nd Quarter

100,255 56,013 44,242 619 692 551 338 378 301

3rd Quarter

100,139 56,178 43,961 621 697 554 337 378 300

4th Quarter

100,628 56,607 44,021 623 702 560 337 379 302

2004

1st Quarter

100,905 56,848 44,057 629 705 562 337 378 301

2nd Quarter

101,135 56,914 44,221 642 715 576 341 380 306

3rd Quarter

101,148 56,931 44,217 635 712 574 335 376 303

4th Quarter

101,658 57,289 44,369 646 720 577 337 376 302

2005

1st Quarter

102,091 57,710 44,381 647 723 580 336 376 302

2nd Quarter

103,201 58,099 45,101 647 714 584 334 369 301

3rd Quarter

104,310 58,843 45,467 651 723 588 331 368 299

4th Quarter

104,605 58,967 45,638 658 730 588 332 368 296

2006

1st Quarter

104,664 58,943 45,722 662 737 594 332 370 298

2nd Quarter

105,801 59,834 45,967 663 732 597 329 364 296

3rd Quarter

107,108 60,090 47,018 678 755 602 334 371 296

4th Quarter

106,835 60,126 46,709 682 749 609 337 370 301

2007

1st Quarter

107,049 60,034 47,015 687 752 609 336 368 298

2nd Quarter

106,842 60,354 46,488 693 764 610 335 370 295

3rd Quarter

107,257 60,269 46,988 698 773 619 335 372 297

4th Quarter

108,228 60,547 47,681 700 775 617 333 368 293

2008

1st Quarter

107,601 60,282 47,319 713 783 632 335 368 297

2nd Quarter

107,111 59,602 47,509 722 800 637 335 371 296

3rd Quarter

106,229 59,319 46,910 724 802 634 331 366 290

4th Quarter

105,677 58,567 47,110 728 808 649 341 378 304

2009

1st Quarter

101,417 56,164 45,253 731 816 644 344 384 303

2nd Quarter

100,112 55,268 44,844 736 815 655 345 382 307

3rd Quarter

99,125 54,517 44,608 741 819 661 344 380 307

4th Quarter

98,659 54,498 44,162 749 826 668 345 381 308

2010

1st Quarter

97,914 53,976 43,939 748 836 662 344 384 304

2nd Quarter

99,681 55,073 44,608 744 813 674 343 374 310

3rd Quarter

100,291 55,547 44,744 745 821 668 342 377 306

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 2. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
3rd
2009
3rd
2010
In current dollars In constant (1982-84) dollars
3rd
2009
3rd
2010
3rd
2009
3rd
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

100,060 101,385 $738 $740 $342 $339

Men, 16 years and over

55,359 56,473 812 813 377 373

16 to 24 years

5,261 5,454 448 424 208 194

25 years and over

50,098 51,019 870 869 404 398

Women, 16 years and over

44,701 44,912 657 662 305 304

16 to 24 years

4,204 4,172 415 419 192 192

25 years and over

40,497 40,741 691 702 320 322

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

81,315 82,280 753 759 349 348

Men

45,963 47,013 835 839 387 384

Women

35,352 35,267 668 677 310 310

Black or African American

11,514 11,761 607 611 281 280

Men

5,335 5,398 622 634 288 290

Women

6,179 6,363 593 590 275 270

Asian

4,919 5,000 877 854 407 391

Men

2,764 2,737 941 963 436 441

Women

2,155 2,263 777 773 360 354

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

14,586 15,067 527 522 244 239

Men

9,203 9,433 539 539 250 247

Women

5,383 5,634 513 503 238 230

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 3. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by age, race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex, 3rd quarter 2010 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Age, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity Total Men Women
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings
Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Median
weekly
earnings

TOTAL

16 years and over

101,385 $740 56,473 $813 44,912 $662

16 to 24 years

9,626 422 5,454 424 4,172 419

16 to 19 years

1,383 335 856 343 526 326

20 to 24 years

8,243 446 4,598 449 3,645 442

25 years and over

91,759 780 51,019 869 40,741 702

25 to 54 years

73,614 768 41,338 848 32,276 696

25 to 34 years

24,565 676 13,992 705 10,573 650

35 to 44 years

23,860 814 13,664 909 10,195 729

45 to 54 years

25,190 841 13,681 941 11,508 729

55 years and over

18,145 840 9,681 967 8,464 725

55 to 64 years

15,384 863 8,152 983 7,232 739

65 years and over

2,761 704 1,529 792 1,232 636

White

16 years and over

82,280 759 47,013 839 35,267 677

16 to 24 years

7,978 422 4,640 429 3,338 416

25 years and over

74,302 806 42,373 895 31,929 720

25 to 54 years

59,040 789 34,060 871 24,981 710

55 years and over

15,262 878 8,313 997 6,949 747

Black or African American

16 years and over

11,761 611 5,398 634 6,363 590

16 to 24 years

1,068 408 514 392 554 424

25 years and over

10,693 638 4,884 668 5,809 617

25 to 54 years

8,838 637 4,087 656 4,751 623

55 years and over

1,855 643 797 738 1,058 587

Asian

16 years and over

5,000 854 2,737 963 2,263 773

16 to 24 years

296 507 138 474 158 539

25 years and over

4,704 888 2,599 1,005 2,105 798

25 to 54 years

3,955 910 2,186 1,021 1,769 824

55 years and over

750 732 414 832 336 663

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

16 years and over

15,067 522 9,433 539 5,634 503

16 to 24 years

1,803 389 1,136 391 667 385

25 years and over

13,264 563 8,297 581 4,967 530

25 to 54 years

11,730 561 7,451 579 4,278 531

55 years and over

1,534 578 846 621 689 524

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 4. Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by occupation and sex, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Occupation and sex Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
3rd
2009
3rd
2010
3rd
2009
3rd
2010

TOTAL

Management, professional, and related occupations

38,592 39,301 $1,048 $1,062

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

15,697 15,830 1,138 1,149

Professional and related occupations

22,896 23,471 1,000 1,010

Service occupations

14,699 14,774 471 466

Sales and office occupations

23,749 23,474 622 637

Sales and related occupations

9,604 9,306 668 667

Office and administrative support occupations

14,144 14,168 606 624

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

10,380 10,445 706 713

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

797 789 408 436

Construction and extraction occupations

5,331 5,510 719 710

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,252 4,145 763 797

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

12,640 13,391 602 594

Production occupations

6,561 7,226 610 596

Transportation and material moving occupations

6,079 6,165 594 591

Men

Management, professional, and related occupations

18,696 19,220 1,259 1,255

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

8,451 8,750 1,329 1,308

Professional and related occupations

10,245 10,470 1,229 1,218

Service occupations

7,497 7,467 515 511

Sales and office occupations

9,062 9,105 736 746

Sales and related occupations

5,242 5,184 792 803

Office and administrative support occupations

3,820 3,920 648 687

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

9,932 10,007 714 720

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

653 595 422 465

Construction and extraction occupations

5,213 5,404 721 709

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4,067 4,008 772 803

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

10,171 10,674 640 624

Production occupations

4,883 5,313 680 656

Transportation and material moving occupations

5,288 5,361 609 607

Women

Management, professional, and related occupations

19,897 20,081 913 921

Management, business, and financial operations occupations

7,246 7,080 955 983

Professional and related occupations

12,651 13,001 886 893

Service occupations

7,201 7,307 426 425

Sales and office occupations

14,687 14,370 590 596

Sales and related occupations

4,362 4,122 545 519

Office and administrative support occupations

10,325 10,248 598 610

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations

448 438 527 486

Farming, fishing, and forestry occupations

144 195 338 393

Construction and extraction occupations

118 107 648 739

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

185 137 652 628

Production, transportation, and material moving occupations

2,469 2,717 473 476

Production occupations

1,678 1,914 470 488

Transportation and material moving occupations

791 804 478 413

NOTE: Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 5. Quartiles and selected deciles of usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, 3rd quarter 2010 averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of
workers
(in
thousands)
Upper limit of:
First decile First
quartile
Second
quartile
(median)
Third
quartile
Ninth
decile

SEX, RACE, AND HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY

Total, 16 years and over

101,385 $351 $488 $740 $1,155 $1,767

Men

56,473 370 515 813 1,275 1,910

Women

44,912 335 453 662 1,001 1,527

White

82,280 356 497 759 1,172 1,820

Men

47,013 375 525 839 1,309 1,920

Women

35,267 340 466 677 1,011 1,545

Black or African American

11,761 325 419 611 920 1,355

Men

5,398 343 446 634 950 1,447

Women

6,363 314 406 590 889 1,271

Asian

5,000 374 536 854 1,473 2,039

Men

2,737 396 584 963 1,574 2,286

Women

2,263 353 498 773 1,295 1,794

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

15,067 300 380 522 795 1,245

Men

9,433 305 389 539 840 1,313

Women

5,634 292 365 503 744 1,127

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

Total, 25 years and over

91,759 378 518 780 1,211 1,851

Less than a high school diploma

7,490 287 351 449 611 844

High school graduates, no college(1)

25,392 347 455 622 893 1,220

Some college or associate degree

24,827 387 517 732 1,021 1,432

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

34,050 551 776 1,158 1,741 2,414

Bachelor's degree only

21,539 505 726 1,044 1,560 2,262

Advanced degree

12,511 652 930 1,368 1,903 2,819

Men, 25 years and over

51,019 397 575 869 1,349 1,969

Less than a high school diploma

5,080 298 374 485 661 902

High school graduates, no college(1)

14,921 380 503 701 996 1,356

Some college or associate degree

12,953 427 594 838 1,158 1,566

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

18,065 585 877 1,338 1,910 2,808

Bachelor's degree only

11,455 535 810 1,217 1,827 2,503

Advanced degree

6,610 681 1,043 1,543 2,205 3,146

Women, 25 years and over

40,741 354 484 702 1,043 1,571

Less than a high school diploma

2,410 265 320 400 510 684

High school graduates, no college(1)

10,471 322 405 542 734 991

Some college or associate degree

11,875 355 469 632 884 1,195

Bachelor's degree and higher(2)

15,985 521 722 992 1,463 1,956

Bachelor's degree only

10,084 480 652 909 1,324 1,876

Advanced degree

5,901 633 866 1,194 1,648 2,207

Footnotes
(1) Includes persons with a high school diploma or equivalent.
(2) Includes persons with bachelor's, master's, professional, and doctoral degrees.

NOTE: Ten percent of all full-time wage and salary workers earn less than the upper limit of the first decile; 25 percent earn less than the upper limit of the first quartile; 50 percent earn less than the upper limit of the second quartile, or median; 75 percent earn less than the upper limit of the third quartile; and 90 percent earn less than the upper limit of the ninth decile. Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Table 6. Median usual weekly earnings of part-time wage and salary workers by selected characteristics, quarterly averages, not seasonally adjusted
Characteristic Number of workers
(in thousands)
Median weekly earnings
3rd
2009
3rd
2010
3rd
2009
3rd
2010

SEX AND AGE

Total, 16 years and over

24,291 23,405 $229 $234

Men, 16 years and over

8,512 8,005 227 226

16 to 24 years

3,708 3,286 180 181

25 years and over

4,804 4,719 278 269

Women, 16 years and over

15,779 15,400 230 239

16 to 24 years

4,553 4,402 172 176

25 years and over

11,226 10,998 266 276

RACE, HISPANIC OR LATINO ETHNICITY, AND SEX

White

20,308 19,506 230 234

Men

7,038 6,406 229 225

Women

13,270 13,100 231 239

Black or African American

2,440 2,402 219 230

Men

886 1,007 219 226

Women

1,554 1,396 219 232

Asian

969 914 246 253

Men

355 375 230 238

Women

614 539 256 264

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

3,358 3,267 230 228

Men

1,430 1,324 241 234

Women

1,928 1,943 222 224

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups (white, black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.


Last Modified Date: October 19, 2010