Real average weekly earnings increased by 0.5 percent from April to May after
seasonal adjustment, according to a preliminary report by the Bureau of Labor
Statistics. This was due to a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings
and a 0.1 percent decrease 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 2.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from May
2002 to May 2003. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings
increased by 0.6 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation,
average weekly earnings were $514.08 in May 2003, compared with $501.25 a year