Real average weekly earnings decreased by 0.3 percent from July to August after
seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released today by the Bureau
of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor. A 0.1 percent increase
in average hourly earnings was offset by a 0.4 percent rise in the Consumer
Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly
hours were unchanged.
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 2.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, from
August 2002 to August 2003. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly
earnings decreased by 0.2 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and
inflation, average weekly earnings were $520.03 in August 2003, compared with
$510.26 a year earlier.