Exactly how is the economy for workers? Unemployment levels continue to go down, but automation and gig economy contract jobs can still make everything feel uncertain.
So one way people may think to look at how the economy is doing for employees is income. This can help give a more solid idea by determining the mean or median income in the country, but a deeper look is required – one single number doesn’t tell the whole story of how many factors, occupations, institutional biases and more go into what a person’s income actually is.
But before all that, what, at the moment, is the average income in the U.S.?
Average Income in the U.S.
Recently, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their report on the Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers. Using information from the fourth fiscal quarter of 2018, the BLS claims that in that quarter, the median income for a full-time wage or salary worker on a weekly basis was $900. For a 40-hour work week, this translates to a yearly income of approximately $46,800. This is a 5% increase on the previous year.
When seasonal adjustments (holidays, severe weather, etc.) are taken into account by the BLS, the median weekly earnings are $897, or about $46,644 per year.
These are very general numbers. After all, according to the BLS for this quarter, there were 115.9 million full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S.
In addition, the BLS looked through the wage and salary information of about 24.8 million part-time workers in the U.S. and determined that the median weekly earnings for these workers were $272. This is a 6.25% increase over the fourth quarter of 2017 when the median weekly earnings for the same group of workers was $256.