Average Hourly Earnings

  • Lawrence H. Officer


Average hourly earnings (AHE) denote earnings on a gross basis and exclusive of benefits. For 1947 and 1949–2006, the Rees methodology is followed (see chapter 3, Composite Series). AHE is computed directly as the ratio of total wages to total hours, for production workers in all manufacturing, Census data. The computed series, denominated in dollars per hour, is inherently current-weighted, which is desired. The data sources are Bureau of the Census (1986, p. 1.4; 1998, p. 1.7) for 1947, 1949–1976; and U.S. Census Bureau (2006, p. 1; 2007) for 1977–2004, 2005–2006. The Census “wages ”are really gross earnings, and total hours are an actual-work concept. There are two differences from the Rees AHE series. (1) The Rees 1957 figure is corrected. (2) The series is carried further, to 2006, and in principle is ongoing.


Wage Rate Unskilled Worker Relative Wage Skilled Occupation Monthly Wage 
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© Lawrence H. Officer 2009

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  • Lawrence H. Officer

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