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May 19, 2003
Real Earnings Drop in April
Real average weekly earnings decreased by 0.3 percent from March to April after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A 0.1 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.5 percent decrease in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) were more than offset by a 0.9 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 2.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, from April 2002 to April 2003. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 0.2 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $511.39 in April 2003, compared with $497.99 a year earlier.

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