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Full-time wage and salary workers have median weekly earnings of $764 in 4th quarter 2011

USUAL WEEKLY EARNINGS OF WAGE AND SALARY WORKERS
                       FOURTH QUARTER 2011


Median weekly earnings of the nation's 101.5 million full-time wage and salary 
workers were $764 in the fourth quarter of 2011 (not seasonally adjusted), the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This was 1.6 percent higher 
than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 3.3 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 fourth-quarter data are:

   --Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $762 in the
     fourth quarter of 2011, little changed from the previous quarter
     ($758). (See table 1.)
     
   --On a not seasonally adjusted basis, median weekly earnings were $764 
     in the fourth quarter of 2011. Women who usually worked full time had
     median weekly earnings of $688, or 81.6 percent of the $843 median
     for men. (See table 2.)
     
   --The female-to-male earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity.
     White women earned 81.4 percent as much as their male counterparts,
     compared with black (91.1 percent), Asian (80.3 percent), and Hispanic
     women (90.4 percent). (See table 2.)
     
   --Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings
     for black men working at full-time jobs were $660 per week, or 75.8
     percent of the median for white men ($871). The difference was less
     among women, as black women's median earnings ($601) were 84.8 percent
     of those for white women ($709). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics
     who worked full time ($537) were lower than those of blacks ($621),
     whites ($786), and Asians ($880). (See table 2.)
     
   --Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among
     men, those age 45 to 54 and 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly
     earnings--$993 and $1,029, respectively. Usual weekly earnings were
     highest for women age 35 to 64; weekly earnings were $737 for women
     age 35 to 44, $757 for women age 45 to 54, and $742 for women age 55
     to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at
     $447. (See table 3.)
     
   --Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time
     in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest
     median weekly earnings--$1,274 for men and $946 for women. Men and
     women employed in service jobs earned the least, $578 and $440,
     respectively. (See table 4.)
     
   --By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over
     without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $444,
     compared with $641 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 $3,146 or
     more per week, compared with $2,303 or more for their female
     counterparts. (See table 5.)

Annual Averages for 2010 and 2011

In addition to the data for the fourth quarter, this release includes
2010 and 2011 annual averages of median weekly earnings for major
demographic and occupational groups, and 2011 annual average data for
educational attainment groups. (See tables 7, 8, and 9.) Annual
average data on median usual weekly earnings for men and women by detailed
occupational categories will be posted online at www.bls.gov/cps/tables.htm 
when they become available.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------
   |                                                                  |
   |    Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Usual Weekly Earnings Data    |
   |                                                                  |
   | Seasonally adjusted median usual weekly earnings data shown in   |
   | table 1 of this release have been revised using updated seasonal |
   | adjustment factors from the Current Population Survey, a         |
   | procedure done at the end of each calendar year. The revisions   |
   | directly affected the number of full-time wage and salary        |
   | workers and current dollar estimates of median weekly earnings;  |
   | estimates of constant (1982-84) dollar median weekly earnings    |
   | were indirectly affected. Seasonally adjusted estimates back to  |
   | the first quarter of 2007 were subject to revision.              |
   |                                                                  |
   | The Usual Weekly Earnings news release for the first quarter of  |
   | 2012, scheduled for release on April 17, 2012, will incorporate  |
   | revisions to the seasonally adjusted data for the median weekly  |
   | earnings in constant (1982-84) dollars. Seasonally adjusted      |
   | constant (1982-84) dollar estimates back to the first quarter of |
   | 2007 will be subject to revision due to annual revisions to      |
   | seasonally adjusted data for the Consumer Price Index for All    |
   | Urban Consumers (CPI-U).                                         |
   |                                                                  |
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