What is Earnings?

Earnings meaning in Labor terms is Remuneration (pay, wages) of a worker or group of workers for services performed during a specific period of time. The term usually carries a defining word or phrase, such as straight-time average hourly earnings. Because a statistical concept is usually involved in the term and its variations, the producers and users of earnings data should define them clearly. In the absence of such definitions, the following may serve as rough guidelines:Hourly, daily, weekly, annual: period of time to which earnings figures, as stated or computed, relate. The context in which annual earnings (sometimes weekly earnings) are used may indicate whether the reference includes earnings from one employer only or from all employment plus other sources of income.Average: usually refers to the arithmetic mean; that is, total earnings (as defined) of a group of workers (as identified) divided by the number of workers in the group.Gross: usually refers to total earnings, before any deductions (such as tax withholding) including, where applicable, overtime payments, shift differentials, production bonuses, cost-of-living allowances, commissions, etc.Straight-time: usually refers to gross earnings excluding overtime payments and (with variations at this point) shift differentials and other monetary payments. (Also see Wages and Salaries.)


reference: Glossary: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – United States Department of Labor