Median weekly earnings of the nation's 102.3 million full-time wage and salary workers were $632 in the third quarter of 2004, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. This was 2.3 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 2.7 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
Data on usual 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. Highlights from the third-quarter data are:
Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $571 per week, or 81.1 percent of the $704 median for men. The female-to-male earnings ratios were higher among Hispanics or Latinos (90.1 percent) and blacks (89.1 percent) than among whites (80.9 percent) or Asians (73.5 percent).
Median earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $570 per week, 79.1 percent of the median for white men ($721). The difference was less among women, as black women's median earnings ($508) were 87.1 percent of those for their white counterparts ($583). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics or Latinos who worked full time ($458) were lower than those of blacks ($531), whites ($651), and Asians ($701).
Among men, those age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $859 and $828, respectively. Among women, earnings also were highest for these two age groups--$629 for 45- to 54-year olds and $607 for 55- to 64-year olds.
Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in managerial, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings--$1,111 for men and $776 for women. Men and women in service jobs earned the least.
Full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $399, compared with $574 for high school graduates (no college) and $984 for college graduates 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 $2,881 or more per week, compared with $1,890 or more for their female counterparts.