The median weekly income for U.S. production workers was $488 in the first quarter of 2012, a drop of $12 or 2.5% from the same period in 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Median weekly earnings for the nation's 100.8 million full-time wage and salary workers in the first quarter was $769, a gain of 1.9% from the same period last year and less than the 2.8% rise in the Consumer Price Index. Production weekly earnings were $26 higher than the mean of $450 for all service occupations. People in management, professional and related occupations had the highest weekly earnings - $1,309, a gain of 3.3% from the first quarter of 2011. Education remains a powerful determinant of earnings power. Workers with less than a high school diploma had a median weekly income of $450, while high school graduates earned $653, college graduates earned $1,051 and those with advanced degrees earned $1,367.