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FAQ: U.S. - Computing the BLS Average Weekly Wage
Thursday, 20 Aug 2009 16:55 ET
By Andrew Vickrey
How can I compute the average weekly wage (as shown in the BLS tables) using series from DataBuffet.com?

Due to the exorbitant amount of data provided in the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages report, Moody's Economy.com does not provide computations referenced in various tables as unique time series.  However, you can compute these figures referenced in the QCEW (Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages), using the formula feature of DataBuffet.com.

Average Weekly Wages can be found in multiple tables complimenting the release of quarterly data.

The computation involves total wages, average monthly employment, and a scaling factor for weeks per quarter or annum.  The output is expressed in unit dollars per week.

Without performing any frequency conversion, the following formulas work, provided that %GEO% is a valid geography code in which data exists. (National, State, MSA, and County Level)

  • Quarterly = (((XYSQ.%GEO%/ XESM.%GEO%)/ 13)*1000)
  • Annual = (((XYSA.%GEO%/ XESA.%GEO%)/ 52)*1000)

Average Annual Wages is also referenced in Table 1 (albeit, outdated on the BLS site)

This also can be replicated by applying a simple division of Wages by Employees, and multiplying the series by 1000 to denominate your output into dollars.

((XYSA.%GEO%/ XESA.%GEO%)*1000)

Please note that the outer pair of parentheses is necessary.  If omitted, the DataBuffet.com engine will not recognize the formula.  You can enter formulas in either the Grid or Power Editor modes.


Related ReleaseCensus of Employment & Wages (QCEW)
SourceU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
GeographyUnited States
Release DateReference date
21 Aug 20191Q 2019
04 Sep 20191Q 2019
20 Nov 20192Q 2019
04 Dec 20192Q 2019