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January 17, 2003
Weekly Earnings Stay Steady in December
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l average weekly earnings were unchanged from November to December after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.

A 0.3 percent decline in average weekly hours and a 0.1 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) were offset by a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings.

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 3.0 percent, seasonally adjusted, from December 2001 to December 2002.

After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings rose by 0.5 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $517.72 in December 2002, compared with $502.58 a year earlier.


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