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Average earnings on the rise

WASHINGTON — Median weekly earnings of the nation-s 100.1 million full-time wage and salary workers were $738 in the third quarter of 2009, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. This was 2.5 percent higher than a year earlier.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell by 1.6 percent over the same period.

Highlights from the third-quarter data are:

• Women who usually worked full time had median earnings of $657 per week, or 80.9 percent of the $812 median for men. The female-to-male earnings ratios were higher among blacks (95.3 percent) and Hispanics (95.2 percent) than among whites (80 percent) or Asians (82.6 percent).

• Median earnings for black men working at full-time jobs were $622 per week, 74.5 percent of the $835 median for white men. The difference was smaller among women, as black women’s median earnings ($593) were 88.8 percent of those for white women ($668). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($527) were lower than those of blacks ($607), whites ($753) and Asians ($877).

• Among men, those age 45 to 54 and age 55 to 64 had the highest median weekly earnings, $944 and $979, respectively. Among women, weekly earnings were highest for those age 35 to 44 and age 45 to 54, $720 and $727, respectively.

Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings — $1,259 for men and $913 for women. Persons in service jobs earned the least.

• Full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $448, compared with $621 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,145 for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree. Among college graduates with advanced degrees (professional or master’s degree and above), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made $3,260 or more per week, compared with $2,252 or more for their female counterparts.

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