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Real average weekly earnings down 2.2 percent from May 2020 to May 2021

June 17, 2021

Real (adjusted for inflation) average weekly earnings decreased 2.2 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. The change in real average weekly earnings resulted from real average hourly earnings decreasing 2.8 percent from May 2020 to May 2021. The change in real average hourly earnings, combined with an increase of 0.6 percent in the average workweek, resulted in the 2.2-percent decrease in real average weekly earnings over this period.

Earnings of all employees, private sector, January 2011–May 2021
    Month     Nominal earnings Real earnings
Average weekly earnings of all employees 12-month percent change
in average weekly earnings of all employees
Real average weekly earnings of all employees,
1982-1984 dollars
12-month percent change
in real average weekly earnings of all employees

Jan 2011

$781.47 2.3% $353.31 0.6%

Feb 2011

784.44 3.4 353.51 1.2

Mar 2011

784.44 2.8 351.69 0.1

Apr 2011

788.45 2.8 351.84 -0.3

May 2011

788.56 2.6 350.77 -0.8

Jun 2011

789.24 2.7 351.08 -0.7

Jul 2011

794.64 2.9 352.55 -0.7

Aug 2011

791.30 2.3 349.97 -1.4

Sep 2011

794.98 2.2 350.83 -1.5

Oct 2011

798.08 2.3 351.96 -1.2

Nov 2011

797.39 2.6 351.01 -0.8

Dec 2011

798.42 2.3 351.38 -0.8

Jan 2012

801.78 2.6 351.90 -0.4

Feb 2012

802.82 2.3 351.61 -0.5

Mar 2012

803.58 2.4 351.20 -0.1

Apr 2012

806.96 2.3 352.10 0.1

May 2012

804.62 2.0 351.80 0.3

Jun 2012

807.02 2.3 353.14 0.6

Jul 2012

808.74 1.8 353.80 0.4

Aug 2012

808.06 2.1 351.46 0.4

Sep 2012

810.81 2.0 350.98 0.0

Oct 2012

810.46 1.6 349.88 -0.6

Nov 2012

812.87 1.9 351.51 0.1

Dec 2012

818.69 2.5 354.07 0.8

Jan 2013

817.34 1.9 352.79 0.3

Feb 2013

820.07 2.1 352.06 0.1

Mar 2013

821.45 2.2 353.64 0.7

Apr 2013

821.13 1.8 354.25 0.6

May 2013

824.21 2.4 355.43 1.0

Jun 2013

826.97 2.5 355.77 0.7

Jul 2013

824.91 2.0 354.19 0.1

Aug 2013

829.04 2.6 355.12 1.0

Sep 2013

827.66 2.1 354.39 1.0

Oct 2013

828.70 2.3 354.65 1.4

Nov 2013

833.52 2.5 356.05 1.3

Dec 2013

831.45 1.6 354.23 0.0

Jan 2014

832.82 1.9 353.96 0.3

Feb 2014

834.18 1.7 354.15 0.6

Mar 2014

838.70 2.1 355.34 0.5

Apr 2014

839.73 2.3 355.11 0.2

May 2014

841.80 2.1 355.31 0.0

Jun 2014

843.53 2.0 355.57 -0.1

Jul 2014

844.56 2.4 355.61 0.4

Aug 2014

849.78 2.5 357.86 0.8

Sep 2014

847.32 2.4 356.80 0.7

Oct 2014

850.47 2.6 358.20 1.0

Nov 2014

852.89 2.3 359.90 1.1

Dec 2014

852.89 2.6 361.01 1.9

Jan 2015

853.19 2.4 363.45 2.7

Feb 2015

857.39 2.8 364.32 2.9

Mar 2015

856.98 2.2 363.16 2.2

Apr 2015

858.71 2.3 363.52 2.4

May 2015

861.12 2.3 363.34 2.3

Jun 2015

861.81 2.2 362.63 2.0

Jul 2015

862.85 2.2 362.49 1.9

Aug 2015

865.95 1.9 363.79 1.7

Sep 2015

866.30 2.2 364.76 2.2

Oct 2015

871.92 2.5 366.76 2.4

Nov 2015

870.78 2.1 365.85 1.7

Dec 2015

871.82 2.2 366.68 1.6

Jan 2016

877.46 2.8 369.22 1.6

Feb 2016

873.42 1.9 368.01 1.0

Mar 2016

875.48 2.2 367.73 1.3

Apr 2016

878.23 2.3 367.47 1.1

May 2016

879.61 2.1 367.18 1.1

Jun 2016

881.67 2.3 367.02 1.2

Jul 2016

883.74 2.4 368.07 1.5

Aug 2016

882.20 1.9 366.75 0.8

Sep 2016

886.49 2.3 367.57 0.8

Oct 2016

890.27 2.1 368.27 0.4

Nov 2016

891.30 2.4 368.27 0.7

Dec 2016

892.34 2.4 367.77 0.3

Jan 2017

895.09 2.0 367.41 -0.5

Feb 2017

894.54 2.4 366.81 -0.3

Mar 2017

895.23 2.3 367.25 -0.1

Apr 2017

900.59 2.5 368.68 0.3

May 2017

899.35 2.2 368.48 0.4

Jun 2017

903.69 2.5 370.03 0.8

Jul 2017

906.78 2.6 371.21 0.9

Aug 2017

907.47 2.9 370.09 0.9

Sep 2017

911.60 2.8 369.74 0.6

Oct 2017

910.91 2.3 369.30 0.3

Nov 2017

915.63 2.7 370.13 0.5

Dec 2017

919.08 3.0 370.99 0.9

Jan 2018

919.17 2.7 369.56 0.6

Feb 2018

922.88 3.2 370.19 0.9

Mar 2018

925.64 3.4 370.97 1.0

Apr 2018

928.40 3.1 370.95 0.6

May 2018

931.16 3.5 371.30 0.8

Jun 2018

932.88 3.2 371.44 0.4

Jul 2018

935.64 3.2 372.25 0.3

Aug 2018

939.09 3.5 373.05 0.8

Sep 2018

939.46 3.1 372.53 0.8

Oct 2018

943.92 3.6 373.24 1.1

Nov 2018

943.59 3.1 373.22 0.8

Dec 2018

950.48 3.4 376.44 1.5

Jan 2019

951.86 3.6 377.06 2.0

Feb 2019

952.19 3.2 376.41 1.7

Mar 2019

957.72 3.5 376.84 1.6

Apr 2019

956.32 3.0 374.55 1.0

May 2019

959.07 3.0 375.56 1.1

Jun 2019

961.82 3.1 376.56 1.4

Jul 2019

961.77 2.8 375.80 1.0

Aug 2019

968.70 3.2 378.22 1.4

Sep 2019

968.36 3.1 377.48 1.3

Oct 2019

971.46 2.9 377.43 1.1

Nov 2019

971.72 3.0 376.65 0.9

Dec 2019

972.75 2.3 376.74 0.1

Jan 2020

975.15 2.4 376.96 0.0

Feb 2020

980.74 3.0 378.92 0.7

Mar 2020

980.03 2.3 379.87 0.8

Apr 2020

1028.39 7.5 401.41 7.2

May 2020

1031.98 7.6 403.21 7.4

Jun 2020

1015.51 5.6 394.71 4.8

Jul 2020

1016.20 5.7 392.96 4.6

Aug 2020

1022.61 5.6 394.05 4.2

Sep 2020

1026.60 6.0 394.62 4.5

Oct 2020

1027.30 5.7 394.41 4.5

Nov 2020

1030.43 6.0 394.91 4.8

Dec 2020

1037.88 6.7 396.80 5.3

Jan 2021

1047.20 7.4 399.34 5.9

Feb 2021

1038.00 5.8 394.44 4.1

Mar 2021

1045.95 6.7 395.01 4.0

Apr 2021

1053.28 2.4 394.74 -1.7

May 2021

1058.52 2.6 394.16 -2.2

Nominal (not adjusted for inflation) average weekly wages increased from $1,031.98 in May 2020 to $1,058.52 in May 2021, an increase of 2.6 percent. Inflation-adjusted wages, expressed in constant 1982–84 dollars, decreased from $403.21 to $394.16 over this 12-month period.

Since January 2011, while nominal average weekly wages have increased from $781.47 to $1,058.52, real average weekly wages (in 1982–84 dollars) have increased from $353.31 to $394.16.

These data are from the Current Employment Statistics survey and are seasonally adjusted. Earnings for the most recent 2 months are preliminary. For more information, see "Real Earnings — May 2021." The Consumer Price Index is used to adjust earnings for inflation.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Real average weekly earnings down 2.2 percent from May 2020 to May 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/real-average-weekly-earnings-down-2-2-percent-from-may-2020-to-may-2021.htm (visited December 05, 2021).

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