Knowledge gets the biggest pay premium
October 05, 1999
The wage premium for knowledge is higher than other factors. On average, wages go up about 10-15 percent as knowledge requirements go up one level and all other factors of the job are fixed.
The premiums for working more independently (less supervision and less reliance on detailed guidance) are on the order of 7-10 percent per level. There are less substantial premiums for the factors of complexity, scope, and effect of the work and for supervisory duties. There are only negligible premiums for measures of personal interaction on the job and for the physical aspects of the job.
In sum, the duties most highly valued by the marketplace are generally cognitive or supervisory in nature. Job attributes relating to interpersonal relationships do not seem to affect wages, nor do the attributes of physically demanding or dangerous jobs.
These results are based on analysis of data from the National Compensation Survey. The chart shows the largest wage differential between jobs at the lowest level of the job attribute and jobs at higher levels of the attribute. For more information see Chapter 2 of the Report (PDF 1,037K).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Knowledge gets the biggest pay premium on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/oct/wk1/art02.htm (visited October 27, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.