Oregon Labor Market Information System
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Average Weekly Earnings are Rising in Oregon
by David Cooke
Published Mar-6-2012

With the economy slowly recovering over the past two years, Oregon workers have seen their average weekly earnings rise as well. The most recent data available is for December 2011. For that period, Oregon's private-sector jobs on nonfarm payrolls averaged $753.74 per week. This was up substantially from the comparable month in 2009, when these jobs averaged $710.16 per week. This is an increase of 6.1 percent over that two-year period.

Some of the gains in weekly earnings can be attributed to an increase in the length of the average workweek. At the start of the period, the private-sector workweek averaged 33.0 hours per week, while by December 2011, the workweek had increased moderately to 33.8 hours. This is a gain of 2.4 percent.

However, most of the wage gains were due to gains in average hourly earnings, which rose from $21.52 to $22.30, an increase of 3.6 percent over the two-year period.

So, many workers are working longer hours and getting paid a little more per hour. These two factors, when multiplied, have resulted in gains in average weekly earnings for the typical Oregon payroll employee.

Graph 1
Oregon's private-sector average weekly earnings