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REAL EARNINGS IN AUGUST 2000

  
                      REAL EARNINGS IN AUGUST 2000
 
     Real average weekly earnings increased by 0.1 percent between July and August after seasonal 
adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the 
U.S. Department of Labor.  This was due to a 0.3 percent rise in average hourly earnings and a 0.1 
percent decline in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  
These movements were partially offset by a 0.3 percent decline in average weekly hours.
     Data on average weekly earnings are collected from the payroll reports of private nonfarm 
establishments.  Earnings of both full-time and part-time workers holding production or 
nonsupervisory jobs are included.  Real average weekly earnings are calculated by adjusting earnings 
in current dollars for changes in the CPI-W.
     Average weekly earnings rose by 3.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from August 1999 to August 
2000.  After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings fell by 0.2 percent.  Before adjustment 
for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $474.70 in August 2000, compared with 
$463.32 a year earlier.
                     _____________________________
       Real Earnings for September 2000 will be released on Wednesday, October 18, 2000.

 Table A. Composition of change in real earnings of production or
 nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls
 ________________________________________________________________________
             |           |           |           |           |           
             |  Average  |  Average  |  Average  |    The    |    Real   
             |   hourly  |   weekly  |   weekly  |  Consumer |  average  
    Year     |  earnings |   hours   |  earnings |   Price   |   weekly  
     and     |           |           |           |  Index1/  |  earnings 
    month    |___________|___________|___________|___________|___________
             |                                                           
             |  Percent change from preceding month, seasonally adjusted 
 ____________|___________________________________________________________
             |           |           |           |           |           
 1999:       |           |           |           |           |           
     Aug.    |     0.2   |     0.0   |     0.2   |     0.2   |    (2)    
     Sept.   |      .4   |      .0   |      .4   |      .5   |     -.2   
     Oct.    |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .2   |    (2)    
     Nov.    |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .2   |    (2)    
     Dec.    |      .2   |      .0   |      .2   |      .2   |    (2)    
 2000:       |           |           |           |           |           
     Jan.    |      .4   |      .0   |      .4   |      .2   |      .2   
     Feb.    |      .4   |      .3   |      .7   |      .5   |      .1   
     Mar.    |      .3   |     -.3   |    (2)    |      .7   |     -.7   
     Apr.    |      .4   |      .3   |      .7   |      .0   |      .7   
     May     |      .1   |     -.6   |     -.4   |      .1   |     -.5   
     June    |      .3   |      .3   |      .6   |      .6   |    (2)    
     Julyp   |      .4   |     -.3   |      .1   |      .2   |    (2)    
     Aug.p   |      .3   |     -.3   |      .0   |     -.1   |      .1   
 ____________|___________|___________|___________|___________|___________
  1/ The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this
 release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical
 Workers (CPI-W).
   p = preliminary.
     2  Less than 0.05 percent.
 Table B. Percent change in earnings from the same month a year ago for
 production or nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls,
 seasonally adjusted
 _________________________________________________________________________
              |                             |                             
              |        Average hourly       |        Average weekly       
              |           earnings          |           earnings          
     Year     |_____________________________|_____________________________
      and     |              |              |              |              
     month    |    Current   |   Constant   |    Current   |   Constant   
              |    dollars   |    (1982)    |    dollars   |    (1982)    
              |              |   dollars1/  |              |   dollars1/  
 _____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
              |              |              |              |              
 1999:        |              |              |              |              
     Aug.     |      3.5     |      1.2     |      3.2     |      0.9     
     Sept.    |      3.7     |       .9     |      3.7     |       .9     
     Oct.     |      3.6     |       .9     |      3.3     |       .5     
     Nov.     |      3.6     |       .8     |      3.3     |       .5     
     Dec.     |      3.5     |       .6     |      3.2     |       .3     
 2000:        |              |              |              |              
     Jan.     |      3.5     |       .6     |      3.5     |       .7     
     Feb.     |      3.7     |       .4     |      3.7     |       .4     
     Mar.     |      3.7     |      -.3     |      3.7     |      -.3     
     Apr.     |      3.8     |       .5     |      4.1     |       .9     
     May      |      3.6     |       .3     |      3.3     |      (2)     
     June     |      3.6     |      -.3     |      3.6     |      -.3     
     Julyp    |      3.7     |       .0     |      3.4     |      -.3     
     Aug.p    |      3.8     |       .5     |      3.2     |      -.2     
 _____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
  1/ The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this release
 is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
 (CPI-W).
   p = preliminary.
     2  Less than 0.05 percent.





   Table 1. Earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on private
   nonfarm payrolls in current and constant dollars1/ by industry, not
   seasonally adjusted
   ____________________________________________________________________
                             |                                         
                             |         Average hourly earnings         
                             |_________________________________________
                             |        |        |        |              
            Industry         |        |        |        |    Percent   
                             |   Aug. |   July |   Aug. |    change    
                             |   1999 |   2000p|   2000p|  Aug. 1999 - 
                             |        |        |        |  Aug. 2000   
   __________________________|________|________|________|______________
                             |        |        |        |              
   Total private:2/          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| $13.20 | $13.69 | $13.68 |      3.6     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   7.81 |   7.84 |   7.84 |       .4     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Goods-producing:          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  14.95 |  15.49 |  15.51 |      3.7     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   8.85 |   8.87 |   8.88 |       .3     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Mining:                   |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  17.05 |  17.14 |  17.04 |      -.1     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|  10.09 |   9.81 |   9.76 |     -3.3     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Construction:             |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  17.31 |  17.96 |  18.06 |      4.3     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|  10.24 |  10.28 |  10.34 |      1.0     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Manufacturing:            |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  13.95 |  14.37 |  14.38 |      3.1     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   8.25 |   8.23 |   8.24 |      -.1     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Service-producing:        |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  12.65 |  13.13 |  13.10 |      3.6     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   7.49 |   7.52 |   7.50 |       .1     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Transportation and public |        |        |        |              
        utilities:           |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  15.69 |  16.21 |  16.24 |      3.5     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   9.28 |   9.28 |   9.30 |       .2     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Wholesale trade:          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  14.65 |  15.26 |  15.21 |      3.8     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   8.67 |   8.73 |   8.71 |       .5     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Retail trade:             |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|   9.05 |   9.38 |   9.39 |      3.8     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   5.36 |   5.37 |   5.38 |       .4     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Finance, insurance,       |        |        |        |              
        and real estate:     |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  14.62 |  15.02 |  14.98 |      2.5     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   8.65 |   8.60 |   8.58 |      -.8     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Services:                 |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|  13.23 |  13.75 |  13.72 |      3.7     
    Constant (1982) dollars..|   7.83 |   7.87 |   7.86 |       .4     
   __________________________|________|________|________|______________
   See footnotes at end of table.





   Table 1. Earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on private
   nonfarm payrolls in current and constant dollars1/ by industry, not
   seasonally adjusted - Continued
   ____________________________________________________________________
                             |                                         
                             |         Average weekly earnings         
                             |_________________________________________
                             |        |        |        |              
            Industry         |        |        |        |    Percent   
                             |   Aug. |   July |   Aug. |    change    
                             |   1999 |   2000p|   2000p|  Aug. 1999 - 
                             |        |        |        |  Aug. 2000   
   __________________________|________|________|________|______________
                             |        |        |        |              
   Total private:2/          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........|$463.32 |$477.78 |$474.70 |      2.5     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 274.15 | 273.49 | 271.88 |      -.8     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Goods-producing:          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 618.93 | 633.54 | 637.46 |      3.0     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 366.23 | 362.64 | 365.10 |      -.3     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Mining:                   |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 758.73 | 774.73 | 766.80 |      1.1     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 448.95 | 443.46 | 439.18 |     -2.2     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Construction:             |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 692.40 | 723.79 | 726.01 |      4.9     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 409.70 | 414.30 | 415.81 |      1.5     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Manufacturing:            |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 583.11 | 590.61 | 595.33 |      2.1     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 345.04 | 338.07 | 340.97 |     -1.2     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Service-producing:        |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 423.78 | 437.23 | 433.61 |      2.3     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 250.76 | 250.27 | 248.34 |     -1.0     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Transportation and public |        |        |        |              
        utilities:           |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 618.19 | 635.43 | 628.49 |      1.7     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 365.79 | 363.73 | 359.96 |     -1.6     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Wholesale trade:          |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 565.49 | 592.09 | 581.02 |      2.7     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 334.61 | 338.92 | 332.77 |      -.5     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Retail trade:             |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 270.60 | 279.52 | 277.94 |      2.7     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 160.12 | 160.00 | 159.19 |      -.6     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Finance, insurance,       |        |        |        |              
        and real estate:     |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 540.94 | 551.23 | 539.28 |      -.3     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 320.08 | 315.53 | 308.87 |     -3.5     
                             |        |        |        |              
   Services:                 |        |        |        |              
    Current dollars..........| 439.24 | 453.75 | 451.39 |      2.8     
    Constant (1982) dollars..| 259.91 | 259.73 | 258.53 |      -.5     
   __________________________|________|________|________|______________
    1/ The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this
   release is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and
   Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
    2/ Data relate to production and related workers in mining and
   manufacturing; construction workers in construction; and
   nonsupervisory workers in transportation and public utilities,
   trade, finance, insurance, and real estate, and services. Included
   in this group are approximately four-fifths of all jobs on private
   industry payrolls.
     p = preliminary.



 Table 2. Earnings of production or nonsupervisory workers on private
 nonfarm payrolls1/, seasonally adjusted
 _________________________________________________________________________
              |                             |                             
              |                             |                             
              |        Average hourly       |        Average weekly       
              |           earnings          |           earnings          
              |                             |                             
     Year     |_____________________________|_____________________________
      and     |              |              |              |              
     month    |              |              |              |              
              |    Current   |   Constant   |    Current   |   Constant   
              |    dollars   |    (1982)    |    dollars   |    (1982)    
              |              |   dollars2/  |              |   dollars2/  
              |              |              |              |              
 _____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
              |              |              |              |              
 1999:        |              |              |              |              
     Aug.     |    $13.30    |     $7.87    |   $458.85    |   $271.67    
     Sept.    |     13.35    |      7.86    |    460.58    |    271.25    
     Oct.     |     13.38    |      7.87    |    461.61    |    271.38    
     Nov.     |     13.41    |      7.87    |    462.65    |    271.51    
     Dec.     |     13.44    |      7.87    |    463.68    |    271.48    
 2000:        |              |              |              |              
     Jan.     |     13.49    |      7.88    |    465.41    |    272.01    
     Feb.     |     13.54    |      7.87    |    468.48    |    272.37    
     Mar.     |     13.58    |      7.84    |    468.51    |    270.35    
     Apr.     |     13.64    |      7.87    |    471.94    |    272.33    
     May      |     13.66    |      7.88    |    469.90    |    270.99    
     June     |     13.70    |      7.86    |    472.65    |    271.01    
     July p   |     13.76    |      7.88    |    473.34    |    270.94    
     Aug. p   |     13.80    |      7.91    |    473.34    |    271.26    
 _____________|______________|______________|______________|______________
  1/ See footnote 2, table 1.
  2/ The deflator for the constant-dollar series presented in this release
 is the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
 (CPI-W).
   p = preliminary.
Explanatory Note




	The earnings series presented in this release 
are derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 
Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, a 
monthly establishment survey of employment, payroll, 
and hours.  The deflator used for constant-dollar 
earnings series presented in this release is derived from 
the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and 
Clerical Workers (CPI-W).
	For the purpose of the Real Earnings series, 
the CPI-W is converted from the base of 1982-84 that 
is used in the official, published series to a base of 
1982.  Thus, the constant dollar average hourly and 
weekly earnings series are in 1982 dollars.  To avoid 
confusion for users, the CPI data presented in Table A 
are the official, published CPI-W series.  These data 
may differ slightly from those used in the real earnings 
calculations.
	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 that are presented in Table B of this 
release.  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 June 1998 issue of Employment and 
Earnings or on the Internet 
(http://stats.bls.gov/ceshome.htm). 
	Earnings series from the monthly 
establishment series are estimated arithmetic averages 
(means) of the hourly and weekly earnings of all 
production or nonsupervisory jobs in the private 
nonfarm sector of the economy.  Average hourly 
earnings estimates are derived by dividing the 
estimated industry payroll--for all production or 
nonsupervisory jobs--by the corresponding paid hours.  
Average weekly hours estimates are similarly derived 
by dividing estimated aggregate hours by the 
corresponding number of production or nonsupervisory 
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 number of 
production or nonsupervisory jobs.  The weekly and 
hourly earnings estimates for aggregate industries, 
such as the major industry division and 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 weekly earnings series is the number of private 
nonfarm production or nonsupervisory worker 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 production or 
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 (table 2) 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.
	

 

 

 
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Last modified: March 17, 2001

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