The dataset is a rich data source for researchers and policymakers who are interested in studying the primary revenue source for the Medicare programs. When coupled with the Social Security Administration publication Medicare Beneficiaries by State and County, these data are valuable for studying the impact of the Social Security program and are used for this purpose in academia, private industry, and state governments. The Federal Insurance and Self-Employment Contribution Acts (FICA and SECA) require the withholding of taxes from wages of employed persons and the net earnings of most self-employed persons for the Social Security and Medicare programs. In 2014, 169.7 million workers had earnings taxable under the Medicare program. About 149.8 million had only wages, 10.8 million had only self-employment income, and 9.0 million had both. Medicare taxable earnings totaled to $7.651 trillion. Medicare taxes totaled about $222 billion.
This report of 2014 earnings and employment data uses a residence-based geographic coding system. State and county designations are based on employee residence shown on the W-2 wage reports that employers send to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and on addresses matched to self-employment earnings reports. Where a county code is not available, the residence is shown as “Unknown” within the state. The tables show workers with earnings reported in more than one state or county during the year in one location, mainly their end-of-year residence. The logic sequence for coding a worker’s residence begins with the address associated with self-employment. Since this report is based on a 1 percent sample, the data are subject to sampling variability. Each number is actually an estimate of the true value in the overall population. A result of sampling is that the numbers have a level of uncertainty, and this uncertainty increases as the numbers get smaller. Therefore, the user should view numbers shown here, particularly the relatively smaller ones, with that result in mind. To protect the privacy of workers, table cells with fewer than 10 sample cases at the county level are not shown. The data for the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI) program excludes the earnings of persons in jobs covered by Medicare only, for example, government employees hired after March 1986 under state and local retirement plans and federal employees hired before 1983 under the Civil Service Retirement System. However, their earnings from any part-time employment or self-employment under Social Security are counted.