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Industry Earnings

Emsi earnings data is presented by place of work. Emsi displays industry earnings as two separate values: “Wages and Salaries” and “Supplements” (or the total, “Earnings”).

Wages and salaries are equivalent to QCEW reported earnings. The BLS defines wages and salaries as including “bonuses, stock options, severance pay, the cash value of meals and lodging, tips and other gratuities. In some states, wages also include employer contributions to certain deferred compensation plans, such as 401(k) plans. Covered employers’ contributions to old-age, survivors, and disability insurance; health insurance; unemployment insurance (UI); workers’ compensation; and private pension and welfare funds are not reported as wages. Employee contributions for the same purposes, however, as well as money withheld for income taxes, union dues, and so forth, are reported, even though they are deducted from the worker’s gross pay.”

Supplements come from the BEA’s State and Local Personal Income datasets. According to the BEA, supplements consists of “employer contributions for employee pension and insurance funds and employer contributions for government social insurance.”

  • Contributions for employee pension and insurance funds include employer contributions to private pensions, publicly administered government employee retirement plans, private group health and life insurance plans, etc.
  • Contributions for government social insurance include “employer contributions for government social insurance as well as payments by employees, the self-employed, and other individuals who participate in government social insurance programs.”

Source: BLS wage definition taken from BLS Handbook of Methods, QCEW chapter, pp. 3-4.
BEA supplements definitions drawn from BEA Regional Definitions tool.

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