Usual weekly earnings of wage and salary workers: fourth quarter 2017

January 22, 2018

The median weekly earnings of the nation’s 114.2 million full-time wage and salary workers were down to $854 in the fourth quarter 2017 from the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. This was 0.9% higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.1% in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.¬†

Highlights from the fourth-quarter data:

Median weekly earnings of full-time workers were $857 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Women had median weekly earnings of $769, or 81.3 percent of the $946 median for men.

The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 80.5 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with Black women (96.0 percent), Asian women (72.3 percent), and Hispanic women (88.4percent).

Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black men working at full-time jobs were $681, or 69.3 percent of the median for White men ($982). The difference was less among women, as Black women’s median earnings ($654) were 82.7 percent of those for White women ($791). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics ($657) and Blacks ($666) were lower than those of Whites ($891) and Asians ($1,061).

Usual weekly earnings of full-time workers varied by age. Among men, those ages 55 to 64 and 45 to 54 had the highest median weekly earnings, at $1,130 and $1,117, respectively. For women, usual weekly earnings were highest for those age 35 to 64: weekly earnings were $855 for women age 35 to 44, $866 for women age 45 to 54, and $835 for women age 55 to 64. Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $549.

Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings–$1,475 for men and $1,052 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $602 and $499, respectively.

By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $531, compared with $714 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,278 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 $3,707 or more per week, compared with $2,719 or more for their female counterparts.