Wages Rise 2.9%

     (CN) – Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 111.2 million full-time wage and salary workers were $824 in the second quarter of 2016 (not seasonally adjusted), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday.
     This was 2.9 percent higher than a year earlier, compared with a gain of 1.1 percent in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) over the same period.
     Among the takeaways from the latest report: women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio varied by race and ethnicity. White women earned 80.7 percent as much as their male counterparts, compared with black women (91.8 percent), Asian women (79.1 percent), and Hispanic women (89.1 percent).
     Among the major race and ethnicity groups, median weekly earnings for Black men working at full-time jobs were $704, or 74.8 percent of the median for white men ($941). The difference was less among women, as black women’s median earnings ($646) were 85.1 percent of those for White women ($759). Overall, median earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($618) were lower than those of Blacks ($677), Whites ($854), and Asians ($1,021).
     By age, median weekly earnings were not much different for men ages 35 to 44 ($1,024), 45 to 54 ($1,063), 55 to 64 ($1,054), and 65 and over ($1,032) in the second quarter of 2016. For women, usual weekly earnings were highest for those ages 35 to 44 ($845) and 45 to 54 ($829). Workers age 16 to 24 had the lowest median weekly earnings, at $492.
     Among the major occupational groups, persons employed full time in management, professional, and related occupations had the highest median weekly earnings—$1,405 for men and $1,019 for women. Men and women employed in service jobs earned the least, $564 and $480, respectively.
     By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $499, compared with $690 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,249 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 $3,517 or more per week, compared with $2,593 or more for their female counterparts.
     Seasonally adjusted median weekly earnings were $828 in the second quarter of 2016, essentially unchanged from the previous quarter ($823).In other news, a surge of building in the Northeast and West helped significantly boost construction of new homes in June, the Commerce Department said Tuesday.
     New housing starts rose 4.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 million from a revised 1.14 million in May.
     The numbers for June were the highest since February.
     Construction of single-family homes rose 4.4 percent to 778,000.
     Home construction jumped 46.3 percent in the Northeast and 17.4 percent in the West.
     Builders completed work last month on nearly 1.15 million homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, highest since September 2008.
     Completions of apartments and condominiums — buildings with more than five residential units — reached 386,000, highest since February 1989.

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