Industry Case Study

What is the Average Weekly Wage Paid by U.S. Businesses in the First Quarter?

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The average weekly wage paid by US businesses in the first quarter of 2019 (pre-COVID-19) was $1,197. This rose to $1,237 in the first quarter of 2020, when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on U.S. soil. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also published average weekly earnings for select industries as of September 2020. These and other findings are outlined below.

BLS Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages.
  • These data sets include the national average of quarterly wages for US businesses by size.
  • However, BLS states that “Data by establishment size class is only available for the private sector, for the first quarter of each year.”
  • Using the data sets of the first quarters of 2019 and 2020, the national average wages in the US can be compared from pre-COVID-19 to current levels.
  • According to the American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC), the first case of COVID-19 in the United States was confirmed on January 21, 2020.

2019 First Quarter

  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with fewer than 5 employees in the first quarter of 2019 was $1,000.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 5 to 9 employees in the same period was $897.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 10 to 19 employees in the same period was $907.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 20 to 49 employees in the same period was $965.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 50 to 99 employees in the same period was $1,083.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 100 to 249 employees in the same period was $1,191.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 250 to 499 employees in the same period was $1,402.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 500 to 999 employees in the same period was $1,627.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 1000 or more employees in the same period was $1,914.
  • On average, US companies of all sizes paid a weekly wage of $1,197 in the first quarter of 2019.

2020 First Quarter

  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with fewer than 5 employees in the first quarter of 2020 was $1,038.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 5 to 9 employees in the same period was $936.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 10 to 19 employees in the same period was $936.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 20 to 49 employees in the same period was $999.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 50 to 99 employees in the same period was $1,125.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 100 to 249 employees in the same period was $1,230.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 250 to 499 employees in the same period was $1,443.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 500 to 999 employees in the same period was $1,689.
  • The average weekly wage paid by US companies with 1000 or more employees in the same period was $1,956.
  • On average, US companies of all sizes paid a weekly wage of $1,237 in the first quarter of 2020.

September 2020

  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also published the latest average weekly earnings of US employees as of September 2020 for select industries.
  • The average weekly earnings for the construction industry was $1,235 in September 2020 compared to $1,231 in July 2020 and $1,225 in September 2019.
  • The average weekly earnings for the trade, transportation and utilities industry was $877 in September 2020 compared to $864 in July 2020 and $833 in September 2019.
  • The average weekly earnings for the financial industry was $1,435 in September 2020 compared to $1,414 in July 2020 and $1,354 in September 2019.
  • The average weekly earnings for the education and health services industry was $958 in September 2020 compared to $950 in July 2020 and $915 in September 2019.

US Small Business Profile

  • The latest data from the 2020 Small Business Profile report by the US SBA Office of Advocacy shows that all industries have more businesses with 1-499 employees than those with only 1-19 employees (see page 4).
  • The 2018 Small Business Profile also shows that African-American business owners tend to have the highest average number of employees in their businesses (8-10 employees).
  • On the other hand, Hawaiian-Pacific Islander business owners have the lowest average number of employees (6-8 employees).
  • Male-owned businesses in the US have an average of 12 employees per business, while female-owned businesses have an average of 8 employees.
  • Business owners who identified as non-minority had a higher average number of employees in their businesses (10-12) compared to owners who identified as minorities (8 employees).
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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