BLS U S Bureau of Labor Statistics : Real Earnings

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USDL-19-1774

8:30 a.m. (EDT), Thursday, October 10, 2019

Technical Information: (202)

691-6555

cesinfo@bls.gov •

www.bls.gov/ces

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691-5902

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REAL EARNINGS - SEPTEMBER 2019

All employees

Real average hourly earnings for all employees were unchanged from August to September, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This result stems from no change in average hourly earnings combined with no change in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.1 percent over the month due to the unchanged real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek.

Chart 1: Over-the-month percent change in real average hourly earnings for all employees, seasonally adjusted, September 2018-September 2019

Percent Change

1.0

0.3

0.4

0.3

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.0

0.0

0.0

-0.1

-0.2

-0.3

-1.0

Sep'18 Oct

Nov Dec

Jan Feb

Mar

Apr

May Jun

Jul

Aug Sep'19

Real average hourly earnings increased 1.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from September 2018 to September 2019. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 0.9-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

Production and nonsupervisory employees

Real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees increased 0.2 percent from August to September, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.2-percent increase in average hourly earnings combined with no change in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

Real average weekly earnings increased 0.2 percent over the month due to the increase in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in average weekly hours.

Chart 2: Over-the-month percent change in real average hourly earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees, seasonally adjusted, September 2018-September 2019

Percent Change

1.0

0.5

0.5

0.4

0.2

0.2

0.0

0.3

0.2

0.2

0.0

-0.1

-0.1

-0.1

-0.2

-1.0

Sep'18 Oct

Nov Dec

Jan Feb

Mar

Apr

May Jun

Jul

Aug Sep'19

From September 2018 to September 2019, real average hourly earnings increased 1.9 percent, seasonally adjusted. The change in real average hourly earnings combined with a 0.3-percent decrease in the average workweek resulted in a 1.6-percent increase in real average weekly earnings over this period.

______________

Real Earnings for October 2019 is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. (EST).

Table A-1. Current and real (constant 1982-1984 dollars) earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, seasonally adjusted

Sept.

July

Aug.

Sept.

2018

2019

2019p

2019p

Real average hourly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$10.83

$10.93

$10.96

$10.96

Real average weekly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$373.74

$374.79

$377.15

$376.93

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

252.010

256.161

256.300

256.358

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$27.30

$27.99

$28.10

$28.09

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

34.5

34.3

34.4

34.4

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$941.85

$960.06

$966.64

$966.30

OVER-THE-MONTH PERCENT CHANGE

Real average hourly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.2

0.0

0.3

0.0

Real average weekly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.2

-0.3

0.6

-0.1

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.1

0.3

0.1

0.0

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.0

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.0

-0.3

0.3

0.0

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.3

0.0

0.7

0.0

OVER-THE-YEAR PERCENT CHANGE

Real average hourly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.7

1.4

1.4

1.2

Real average weekly earnings1. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.3

0.8

1.1

0.9

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2.3

1.8

1.8

1.7

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.0

3.2

3.2

2.9

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.6

-0.6

-0.3

-0.3

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.6

2.6

2.9

2.6

  • The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is used to deflate the earnings series for all employees. p Preliminary

Table A-2. Current and real (constant 1982-1984 dollars) earnings for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, seasonally adjusted1

Sept.

July

Aug.

Sept.

2018

2019

2019p

2019p

Real average hourly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$9.29

$9.41

$9.45

$9.47

Real average weekly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$313.13

$315.35

$317.56

$318.18

Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. . . . . . . . . . .

246.022

249.753

249.811

249.745

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$22.86

$23.51

$23.61

$23.65

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

33.7

33.5

33.6

33.6

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

$770.38

$787.59

$793.30

$794.64

OVER-THE-MONTH PERCENT CHANGE

Real average hourly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.2

-0.1

0.4

0.2

Real average weekly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.0

-0.3

0.7

0.2

Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. . . . . . . . . . .

0.0

0.4

0.0

0.0

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.3

0.3

0.4

0.2

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

-0.3

-0.3

0.3

0.0

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.0

0.0

0.7

0.2

OVER-THE-YEAR PERCENT CHANGE

Real average hourly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.7

1.8

1.9

1.9

Real average weekly earnings2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1.0

0.9

1.4

1.6

Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. . . . . . . . . . .

2.3

1.7

1.5

1.5

Average hourly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.0

3.5

3.6

3.5

Average weekly hours. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

0.3

-0.9

-0.6

-0.3

Average weekly earnings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3.3

2.6

2.9

3.1

  • Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries. These groups account for approximately four-fifths of the total employment on private nonfarm payrolls.
  • The Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is used to deflate the earnings series for production and nonsupervisory employees.

p Preliminary

Technical Note

The earnings series presented in this release are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey,

  1. monthly establishment survey of employment, payroll, and hours. The deflators used for constant- dollar earnings series presented in this release come from the Consumer Price Indexes Program. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) is used to deflate earnings for the all employees series, while the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is used to deflate earnings for the production and nonsupervisory employees series.
    Seasonally adjusted data are used for estimates of percent change from the same month a year ago for current and constant average hourly and weekly earnings. Special techniques are applied to the CES hours and earnings data in the seasonal adjustment process to mitigate the effect of certain calendar-related fluctuations. Thus, over- the-year changes of these hours and earnings are best measured using seasonally adjusted series. A discussion of the calendar-related fluctuations in the hours and earnings data and the special techniques to remove them is available in the February 2004 issue of Employment and Earnings or at www.bls.gov/ces/cesfltxt.htm.
    Earnings series from the monthly establishment survey are estimated arithmetic averages (means) of the hourly and weekly earnings of all jobs in the private nonfarm sector of the economy, as well as of all production and nonsupervisory jobs in the private nonfarm sector of the economy. Average hourly earnings estimates are derived by dividing the estimated industry payroll by the corresponding paid hours. Average weekly hours estimates are similarly derived by dividing estimated aggregate hours by the corresponding number of jobs. Average weekly

earnings estimates are derived by multiplying the average hourly earnings and the average weekly hours estimates. This is equivalent to dividing the estimated payroll by the corresponding number of jobs. The weekly and hourly earnings estimates for aggregate industries, such as the total private sector averages printed in this release, are derived by summing the corresponding payroll, hours, and employment estimates of the component industries. As a result, each industry receives a "weight" in the published averages that corresponds to

its

current

level

of activity

(employment or

total

hours).

This

further implies

that fluctuations

and varying trends in employment in high-wage versus low-wage industries as well as wage rate changes influence the earnings averages.

There are several characteristics of the series presented in this release that limit their suitability for some types of economic analyses. (1) The denominator for the all employee weekly earnings series is the number of private nonfarm jobs.

Similarly,

the

denominator

of the

production

and

nonsupervisory employee

weekly

earnings

series

is

the

number of

private

nonfarm

production and nonsupervisory employee jobs. This number includes full-time and part-time jobs as well as

the jobs held by multiple

jobholders

in

the

private

nonfarm sector. These factors tend to result in

weekly

earnings

averages

significantly

lower

than

the corresponding numbers for full-time jobs.

(2)

Annual

earnings

averages

can

differ

significantly

from

the

result

obtained

by

multiplying

average weekly

earnings

times

52

weeks. The difference may be due to factors such as turnovers and layoffs. (3) The series are the average earnings of all employees or all production and nonsupervisory jobs, not the earnings average of "typical" jobs or jobs held by "typical" workers. Specifically, there are no adjustments for occupational, age, or schooling variations or for household type or location. Many studies have established the significance of these factors and that their impact varies over time.

Seasonally adjusted data are preferred by some users for analyzing general earnings trends in the economy since they eliminate the effect of changes that normally occur at the same time and in about the same magnitude each year and, therefore, reveal the underlying trends and cyclical movements. Changes in average earnings may be due to seasonal changes in the proportion of workers in high-wage and low-wage industries or occupations or to seasonal changes in the amount of overtime work, and so on.

For more information, see Thomas Gavett, "Measures of Change in Real Wages and Earnings," Monthly Labor Review, February 1972.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; TDD Message Referral Phone Number: 1-800-877-8339.

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BLS - U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics published this content on 10 October 2019 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 10 October 2019 12:35:06 UTC

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