Inflation-adjusted, or real, average weekly earnings fell by 0.3 percent from February to March after seasonal adjustment, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.
A 0.2 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.5 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Average weekly hours were unchanged.
In February, real average weekly earnings increased by 0.4 percent.
The bureau collects data on average weekly earnings from the payroll reports of private 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 3.7 percent, seasonally adjusted, from March 2005 to March 2006. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 0.1 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $553.09 in March 2006, compared with $533.06 a year earlier.