Private sector wages rose faster than benefits last year

May 19, 2000

Wages in private industry rose 3.0 percent from $13.47 per hour in March 1998 to $13.87 in March 1999. Over the same period, the employers’ cost of benefits rose 2.2 percent to $5.13.

Wages and salaries as a share of private industry compensation costs, March 1986-99
[Chart data—TXT]

As a result, the share of total compensation accounted for by wages and salaries edged up to 73 percent. The year ending in March 1999 was the fifth in a row in which wages gained as a share of compensation.

The portions of compensation that recorded the largest declines as a share of compensation since 1994 were insurance (particularly health insurance) and workers’ compensation programs.

These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Additional information is available from "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, 1986-99," BLS Bulletin 2526.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Private sector wages rose faster than benefits last year on the Internet at (visited November 25, 2015).


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