Hours & Earnings by Selected Industries

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The Hours & Earnings data are available in three series -- average weekly earnings, average hourly earnings, and average number of weekly hours -- for Total Private employees in California and its Metropolitan Statistical Areas.  A description of the method and geography for these data is available in the data collection methodology section of this page. The data are also published in the California Labor Market Review (PDF). In addition to these hours and earnings data, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) also provides All Employee Hours and Earnings Series by State.

Hours and Earnings Data


Metropolitan Areas

Data Collection Methodology

Each month, the Employment Development Department cooperates with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in conducting a survey of employers to collect data on employment, payrolls, and paid hours. In general, data refer to people who worked during, or received pay for, any part of the pay period that includes the 12th of the month. The employers extract the requested data from their payroll records, which must be maintained for a variety of tax and accounting purposes. All firms with 1,000 employees or more are asked to participate in the survey, as well as a sample of smaller firms. Despite the voluntary nature of the survey, numerous establishments have reported regularly for many years.

Data Description

Which Employees are Included:
The hours and earnings data are based on reports of payrolls and the corresponding paid hours for all employees in California and its Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA). Hours and earnings are for private-sector employees.

Total hours during the pay period include all hours worked (including overtime hours), hours paid for standby or reporting time, and equivalent hours for which employees received pay directly from the employer for sick leave, holidays, vacations, and other leave. Overtime and other premium pay hours are not converted to straight-time equivalent hours. The concept of total hours differs from those of scheduled hours and hours worked.

Average weekly hours are the total weekly hours divided by the employees paid for those hours. It relates to the average hours per worker for which pay was received and is different from stan¬dard or scheduled hours.

Average hourly earnings are on a "gross" basis. They reflect not only changes in basic hourly and incentive wage rates, but also such variable factors as premium pay for overtime and late-shift work and changes in output of employees paid on an incentive plan. They also reflect shifts in the number of employees between relatively high-paid and low-paid work and changes in employees' earnings in individual establishments. The earnings series do not measure the level of total labor costs on the part of the employer because the following are excluded: benefits, irregular bonuses, retroactive items, and payroll taxes paid by employers.

Average weekly earnings are derived by multiplying average weekly hours estimates by average hourly earnings estimates.

Geographic Areas:
Hours and Earnings data are provided for the State of California.