Real average weekly earnings declined by 0.1 percent from June to July after
seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics. A 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more
than offset by a 0.3 percent decrease in average weekly hours and a 0.1 percent
rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers
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 2.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, from July
2002 to July 2003. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased
by 0.5 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average
weekly earnings were $516.28 in July 2003, compared with $503.75 a year earlier.