News Column

Growth in Median Weekly Earnings Lagged Inflation

Jan 25, 2013

Diane Stafford

Wages

The median weekly earnings of the 103.8 million U.S. full-time wage and salary earners were $775 at the end of 2012.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the median was 1.4 percent higher than a year earlier.

That gain, though, was smaller than the rise in inflation, as measured by the 1.9 percent uptick in the consumer price index over the same 12 months.

The median number means that half of full-time workers earned more and half earned less.

Details in the report included:

-- Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $692, or 79.1 percent of the $875 median for men.

-- White women earned 79.6 percent as much as their male counterparts. Black women earned 87.4 of their male counterparts. Hispanic women earned 86.6 percent of their male counterparts. Asian women earned 71.6 percent of their male counterparts.

-- Median weekly earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $680 per week, or 76.0 percent of the $895 median for white men. The race-based difference was less among women; black women's median earnings of $594 were 83.4 percent of the $712 for white women. Median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time, $571, were lower than those of blacks, $615, whites, $802, and Asians, $910.

-- Median weekly earnings were highest for full-time workers in management, professional, and related occupations: $1,340 for men and $953 for women.

-- Median weekly earnings were lowest for men and women in service jobs: $550 and $420, respectively.

-- Education made difference. Full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $478, compared with $647 for high school graduates without college and $1,168 for workers holding at least a bachelor's degree.

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c)2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)