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BLS: Alaska Women’s Earnings Rank 8th in Nation; Ratio to Alaska Men’s Earnings Ranks 48th


The latest BLS News Release showing women’s earnings in Alaska is now available (see attached PDF). 

Items of note include:

  • In 2012, Alaska women had median weekly earnings of $757 or 73.9% of the $1,025 median weekly earnings of men
  • Nationwide, women earned $691/week, or 80.9% of the $854 median for men
  • At 73.9%, women’s earnings as a percent of men’s in Alaska ranked 48th in the nation out of 50 states and the District of Columbia
  • Women’s weekly earnings in Alaska ranked 8th, and men’s 5th, nationwide


In 2012, Alaska women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median weekly earnings of $757 or 73.9 percent of the $1,025 median weekly earnings for their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Richard J. Holden noted that the women’s to men’s earnings ratio in Alaska decreased 1.6 percentage points from the previous year. Nationwide, women earned $691 per week or 80.9 percent of the $854 median for men. (See table 1 PDF. Earnings in this report do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences.)

In Alaska, the ratio of women’s to men’s earnings has ranged from a low of 70.9 percent in both 1998 and 1999 to a high of 79.2 percent in 2001. The ratio has been below 75 percent for 6 of the past 7 years. (See chart 1.)

Chart 1. Women’s earnings as a percent of men’s, full-time wage and salary workers, Alaska and the United States, 1997 – 2012 annual averages

Among the 50 states, median weekly earnings of women in full-time wage and salary positions in 2012 ranged from $566 in Montana to $868 in Connecticut. States with the highest wages for women were located along the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to Connecticut, women’s earnings in Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey were also above $800 per week. (See table 1 [PDF] and chart 2 below.)

Across the nation, median weekly earnings for men were lowest in Arkansas at $717 and highest in Connecticut at $1,127. Four of the five highest-paying states for full-time male workers (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Maryland) were also located along the Eastern Seaboard. The sole exception was on the West Coast – Alaska. (See table 1. PDF)

The ratio of female-to-male earnings in 2012 varied across the nation, ranging from 65.5 percent in Wyoming to 86.8 percent in Arizona. (See table 1. PDF) Two other states recorded ratios above 85.0 percent – California at 86.0 percent and Maryland at 85.2 percent. (See chart 3.) The differences among the states reflect, in part, variation in the occupations and industries found in each state and in the age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, comparisons by gender are on a broad level and do not control for factors such as educational attainment which can be significant in explaining earnings differences.

For more information on the median weekly earnings of women and men, see Bureau of Labor Statistics Report 1045, Highlights of Women’s Earnings in 2012, issued in October 2013; copies are available on the Internet at www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2012.pdf. Information in this release will be available to sensory impaired individuals upon request: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.

Technical Note
The estimates in this report were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides a wide range of information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. This survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a national sample of about 60,000 households, with coverage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample.

Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. The differences among data for the states reflect, in part, variations in the occupation, industry, and age composition of each state’s labor force. In addition, sampling error for the state estimates is considerably larger than it is for the national data.

The principal definitions used in connection with the earnings series in this release are described 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).
Median weekly earnings. The median 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.
Wage and salary workers. Workers who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payment in kind, or piece rates. The group includes employees 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
Full-time worker. Workers who usually work 35 hours or more per week at their sole or principal job.


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