Table of contents > Section J - Wages and income >
Weekly earnings, by industry
Oil and gas extraction the highest-paid activity
- Dividing the economy into two broad industry classes-goods production and services-reveals that the average weekly earnings of workers tend to be much higher in the former than the latter. In 2005, for example, average weekly earnings stood at $910 for employees in the goods industries as a whole, compared with only $680 in services. The lower wages found in the services industries is due, in part, to the high incidence of part-time work associated with these jobs.
- Among goods-producing industries, two sectors had average earnings in excess of $1,000 per week in 2005, indicating an annual wage or salary above $52,000 (including overtime). The first was the mining and oil and gas extraction sector, where average weekly earnings of $1,310 also reached $1,510 in oil and gas extraction. The second high-paying sector was utilities (electric power generation, natural gas distribution, and water supply and sewage treatment), where workers made $1,070 weekly. In the manufacturing sector, wages varied, ranging from $1,350 for motor vehicle manufacturing to approximately $600 for leather product or clothing manufacturing.
- In 2005, among service-producing industries, the two highest-paying sectors were professional, scientific and technical services ($950), and finance and insurance ($940). At the other end of the wage range, three service sectors had average weekly earnings under $500: accommodation and food services ($310), arts, entertainment and recreation ($420), and retail trade ($470).