newsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics released some interesting wage data for the second quarter of 2011. The results feature some unsettling disparities.

For the 100.6  million full-time wage and salary workers in the U.S.,  the median wage amounted to ($753). Further demographic breakdown, by ethnicity and education, are featured below on the graph.

In terms of ethnicity, Asians appeared to be top earners, with median weekly earnings at ($872). Median weekly earnings of Hispanics who worked full time ($565) were lower than the median weekly earnings of blacks ($623) and whites ($770), the B.L.S. confirmed.

Education played a substantial role in average weekly earnings as well, as high school graduates ($643) and individuals with no high school diploma ($458) made far less money than  individuals with an associate degree ($743) or a bachelor’s degree ($1,043).

Overall, the data portrays some alarming figures, especially the lower earning echelons. Looking at the average weekly earnings by ethnicity, perhaps the breakdown is as much a reflection of the unrelenting pressure of the recession, as it is a statement on the varying degrees of social and economic opportunities available here in our nation.

The schooling data has less surprises. A familiar adage comes to mind when observing the educational demographics – more education equals more wealth. This explanation supports the notion that potential earning increases exponentially as greater learning and networking opportunities become available.

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