WASHINGTON (April 17, 2012) — Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 100.8 million full-time wage and salary workers were $769 in the first quarter of 2012 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Wednesday. This was 1.9 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.8 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.
Data shown in this release are not seasonally adjusted unless otherwise specified. Highlights from the first-quarter data are:
• Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $763 in the first quarter of 2012, about unchanged from the previous quarter ($762).
• On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $769 in the first quarter of 2012. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $697, or 82.2 percent of the $848 median for men.
• The female-to-male earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 81.6 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with black (88.9 percent), Asian (80.8 percent), and Hispanic women (89.9 percent).
• Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $677, or 77.5 percent of the median for white men ($874). The difference was less among women, as black women’s median weekly earnings ($602) were 84.4 percent of those for white women ($713). Overall, median weekly earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($567) were lower than those of blacks ($635), whites ($793), and Asians ($918).
• Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among both men and women, median weekly earnings tend to be higher in the older age groups. Men between the ages of 45 to 54 had median weekly earnings of $998, about the same as the median for men age 55 to 64 ($992). Usual weekly earnings were highest for women age 35 to 64; weekly earnings were $756 for women age 35 to 44, $748 for women age 45 to 54, and $779 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $448.
• Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings — $1,309 for men and $959 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $563 and $450, respectively.
• By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $450, compared with $653 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,158 for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (professional or master’s degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made $3,366 or more per week, compared with $2,284 or more for their female counterparts.