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August 18, 2003
Real Earnings Drop Slightly in July
Real average weekly earnings declined by 0.1 percent from June to July after seasonal adjustment, according to preliminary data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings was more than offset by a 0.3 percent decrease in average weekly hours and a 0.1 percent rise in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).

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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 July 2002 to July 2003. After deflation by the CPI-W, average weekly earnings increased by 0.5 percent. Before adjustment for seasonal change and inflation, average weekly earnings were $516.28 in July 2003, compared with $503.75 a year earlier.

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