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News Release Information

Thursday, February 20, 2020

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In 2017, Massachusetts women who were full-time wage and salary workers had median usual weekly earnings of $971 or 80.6 percent of the $1,204 median usual weekly earnings of their male counterparts, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Deborah A. Brown noted that the 2017 women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in Massachusetts decreased from 2016, down 3.7 percentage points. Nationwide, women earned $770 per week or 81.8 percent of the $941 median for men. (See table 1. The earnings comparisons in this release are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences, such as job skills and responsibilities, work experience, and specialization.)

The women’s-to-men’s earnings ratio in Massachusetts ranged from a low of 74.8 percent in 2007 to a high of 84.3 percent in 2016. The ratio has remained above 80 percent since 2010.  (See chart 1. Data for the states began in 1997.)


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Test Median weekly earnings for men were lowest in New Mexico at $771 and highest in Massachusetts at $1,204.

Technical Note

The estimates in this release were obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which provides information on the labor force, employment, and unemployment. This survey is conducted monthly for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau, using a scientifically selected national sample of about 60,000 eligible households, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The earnings data are collected from one-fourth of the CPS monthly sample and are limited to wage and salary workers. All self-employed workers, both incorporated and unincorporated, are excluded from the data presented in this report.

Statistics based on the CPS data are subject to both sampling and nonsampling error. Further information about the reliability of data from the CPS is available on the CPS Technical Documentation page of the BLS website.

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States, and counties comprising Cape Cod and the Islands, not seasonally adjusted
Area Unemployment rates Net change from
July 2012 July 2013 July 2014 July 2015(1) July 2012 to July 2013 July 2013 to July 2014 July 2014 to July 2015(1)

United States

8.6 7.7 6.5 5.6 -0.9 -1.2 -0.9

Barnstable County, Mass.

6.4 6.4 5.5 4.7 0.0 -0.9 -0.8

Dukes County, Mass.

5.4 5.7 4.8 4.0 0.3 -0.9 -0.8

Nantucket County, Mass.

4.1 3.8 3.2 2.5 -0.3 -0.6 -0.7

(1) Data for the counties on Cape Cod and the Islands are preliminary for the most recent month.


Last Modified Date: Thursday, February 20, 2020