Average Industrial Wage

What Is Average Industrial Wage?

Average industrial wage refers to the mean hourly rate of pay for workers in a specific geographical area, such as a country or province, excluding farm employees.

This measurement serves as a reasonable proxy for the income of an average worker in that locality and is used by labor organizations and employers as a benchmark to evaluate average wages paid to workers in the labor force in that area.

Key Takeaways

  • Average industrial wage refers to the mean hourly rate of pay for workers, industrial or otherwise, in a given geographical area.
  • National survey organizations, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Statistics Canada, are responsible for calculating figures for the average industrial wage.
  • The average industrial wage is used to calculate a number of other metrics related to labor and employment.

Understanding Average Industrial Wage

Average industrial wage is a term that can be misleading since it is not limited to workers in industrial professions. Instead, it encompasses data for employees in virtually all industries across the spectrum of the workforce, with the exception of agricultural workers.

National survey organizations such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Statistics Canada calculate figures for the average industrial wage. These points of data can be compared to local inflation rates to determine the changes in relative income.

How the Average Industrial Wage Is Calculated

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates nationwide employment statistics, based on a monthly survey of different employers. In addition to reporting wages by sector, region, and state, it also publishes wage breakdowns by gender, unemployment rates, and the costs of employment. These data points drill down in a more precise, granular manner to convey data and trends related to specific aspects of employment-related information.

The BLS maintains a collection of robust databases that provide insight and analysis into the American workforce and labor market. This information can be used to identify trends, draw conclusions, support employment-related research, and make predictions about future trends. BLS statistics currently available on the bureau’s website and easily accessible to the public include graphs, charts, and reports related to topics such as prices, benefits, strikes, productivity, and employment costs.

In regards to wage information, the BLS compiles data related to earnings broken down into categories such as industry, age, location, or other demographic characteristics. Data can be viewed on a national, state, or local level.

Statistics Canada, meanwhile, is the agency officially charged by the government of Canada with compiling and analyzing statistical information about the country and its residents. The agency tracks median salary by job title, calculates average hourly wages by employees sorted by a variety of categories, and tracks trends related to wage gaps connected to race and gender.

Examples of Average Industrial Wages

In the United States, wage figures are published every month in the Current Employment Statistics based on surveys conducted by the Census Bureau. Average industrial wages are reported in table B-3, which covers hourly and weekly payroll in all private nonfarm sectors, as well as the overall average.

In June of 2021, the average national wage was reported as $30.40 per hour for all private nonfarm industries. This was more than a dollar higher than a year earlier. Weekly earnings were $1,054, an increase of over $40 from June of 2020.

In Canada, these figures are released in the Survey of Employment, Payroll, and Hours (SEPH). According to Statistics Canada, the average non-farm income was $1,118.50 CAD, a 9.4% increase over the past twelve months.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Bureau of Labor Statistics. "Table B-3. Average Hourly and Weekly Earnings of All Employees on Private Nonfarm Payrolls by Industry Sector, Seasonally Adjusted." Accessed July 23, 2021.

  2. Statistics Canada. "Payroll Employment, Earnings and Hours, June 2020." Accessed July 23, 2021.

Take the Next Step to Invest
The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Investopedia receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where listings appear. Investopedia does not include all offers available in the marketplace.