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True Weekly Earnings

LISEP’s measure of the weekly earnings of all members of the workforce

True
Weekly Earnings
$
965
$
50,180
 Annualized
Q4 2023
Headline
Weekly Earnings
$
1,145
$
59,540
 Annualized
Q4 2023
vs.
For every dollar of earnings reported by the BLS,
the TWE is ...
For every dollar
earned by White workers
Black workers earn ...
For every dollar
earned by White workers
Hispanic workers earn ...
For every dollar
earned by male workers
female workers earn ...
Using data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),we calculate the median earnings of everyone who is employed or actively seeking employment. Thus, we take the median earnings of the whole U.S. labor force as defined by the BLS.
By comparison, the BLS headline numbers only include those who are employed at full-time jobs. Thus, if a low-income worker moves from full time to part time, or becomes unemployed, the BLS metric will report that earnings have risen, giving a false sense that earnings are getting better. TWE, on the other hand, gives policymakers access to a more comprehensive indicator of how the job market is performing as a whole.
Note: Both LISEP and BLS exclude the self-employed from their sample for measurement reasons.
True
Weekly Earnings
The True Weekly Earnings (TWE), as defined by LISEP, measures the weekly earnings of all members of the workforce — including part time and jobless who are seeking work.
True Weekly Earnings
vs. Headline Weekly Earnings
$
965
True Earnings
$
1,145
Headline Earnings
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$
50,180
True Earnings
$
59,540
Headline Earnings
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True Weekly Earnings
By Income Group*
$598
Bottom Quartile
$
965
Median
$1,568
Third Quartile
$2,494
Ninth Decile
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*
In the graph above, first quartile refers to the exact person at the 25th percentile in the distribution. So this person has earnings higher than 25% of the population and lower than 75%. Third quartile refers to the person that has earnings higher than 75% of the population and lower than 25%. Ninth decile refers to the person with earnings higher than 90% and lower than 10% of the population. Note that this does not mean that the ninth decile is the average of the top 10%; rather, it is the exact 90th percentile earner.
$31,072
Bottom Quartile
$
50,180
Median
$81,515
Third Quartile
$129,685
Ninth Decile
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True Weekly Earnings
By Race
$821
Black
$766
Hispanic
$1,074
White
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$42,694
Black
$39,855
Hispanic
$55,826
White
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True Weekly Earnings
Earnings Gap: Black and Hispanic vs. White Workers
For every dollar earned by White workers, Black and Hispanic workers earn ...
76¢
Black
71¢
Hispanic
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True Weekly Earnings
By Sex
$852
Female
$1,081
Male
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$44,317
Female
$56,224
Male
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True Weekly Earnings
Earnings Gap: Female vs. Male Workers
For every dollar earned by male workers, female workers earn ...
79¢
Female
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True Weekly Earnings
By Education
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$647
No High School
$826
High School Diploma
$944
Some College
$1,396
Bachelors Degree
$1,674
Advanced Degree
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$33,622
No High School
$42,964
High School Diploma
$49,103
Some College
$72,586
Bachelors Degree
$87,053
Advanced Degree
True Weekly Earnings
Growth by Education
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15%
No High School
2%
High School Diploma
-1%
Some College
3%
Bachelors Degree
-3%
Advanced Degree
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