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Thursday, March 13, 2014

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Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for the Regions –
December 2013


Employer costs for employee compensation in private industry among the four regions of the country ranged from $26.93 per hour in the South to $33.87 in the Northeast during December 2013, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Regional Commissioner Janet S. Rankin noted that hourly employer costs for employee compensation in the other two regions were $28.44 in the Midwest and $31.44 in the West. (See chart 1.) In addition to regional estimates, employer costs for nine smaller geographic divisions are also available. Within divisions, total compensation costs ranged from $24.27 per hour in the East South Central division to $34.40 in the New England division. (See table 1.) Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (Geographic definitions of the regions and divisions follow in the Technical Note.)

Chart 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation in private industry by region, December 2013

In the Northeast, hourly total compensation costs were comprised of the following: wages and salaries ($23.25) made up 68.7 percent, while total benefits ($10.61) accounted for the remaining 31.3 percent. Insurance costs, which include life, health, and short- and long-term disability, averaged $2.96 per hour worked and 8.7 percent of all compensation costs. Legally required benefits, which include Social Security and Medicare, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance, averaged $2.78 per hour and represented 8.2 percent of total compensation costs. Paid leave benefits, which includes vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave, was $2.51 per hour worked and accounted for 7.4 percent of total compensation costs.

Hourly wages and salaries averaged $22.05 in the West and accounted for 70.1 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $9.39, or 29.9 percent of total compensation costs. Legally required benefits averaged $2.66 per hour worked and accounted for 8.5 percent of total compensation costs in the West. Insurance benefits averaged $2.45 per hour and represented 7.8 percent of all employer costs, while paid leave was $2.13, or 6.8 percent of total compensation costs.

The Midwest Region recorded an hourly wage and salary average of $19.84 in December 2013, which represented 69.7 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $8.61 and accounted for the remaining 30.3 percent of total compensation costs. The three highest categories for employer benefit costs included: insurance benefits ($2.55 per hour worked), legally required benefits ($2.33), and paid leave ($1.95). These categories represented 9.0 percent, 8.2 percent, and 6.8 percent, respectively, of total employer compensation costs in the Midwest.

In the South, wages and salaries averaged $19.20 per hour and comprised 71.3 percent of total employer compensation, while total benefits, at $7.73 per hour, accounted for the remaining 28.7 percent. Legally required benefits represented the largest benefit category, averaging $2.14 per hour worked, or 8.0 percent of total compensation costs. Insurance benefits, at $2.08 per hour, or 7.7 percent of total compensation costs, represented the second largest benefit category in the South. Paid leave, the third largest benefit category, averaged $1.81 per hour and represented 6.7 percent of all costs.

Overall, compensation costs among private industry employers in the United States averaged $29.63 per hour worked in December 2013. Wages and salaries, at $20.76 per hour, accounted for 70.1 percent of these costs, while benefits, at $8.87, made up the remaining 29.9 percent.


Introduction of 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)

Beginning with this release, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation estimates are based on 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC). No substantive changes occurred in occupational coverage for about 90 percent of the detailed occupations in the 2010 SOC. However, the detailed occupation Registered Nurses did undergo classification changes. For information see www.bls.gov/soc.


Technical Note

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked.

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data in this release cover private industry. Excluded from private industry are the self-employed and farm and private household workers. The cost levels for this quarter were collected from a probability sample of approximately 42,200 occupations selected from a sample of about 9,100 establishments in private industry. The private industry sample is rotated over approximately 5 years, which makes the sample more representative of the economy and reduces respondent burden. Data are collected for the pay period including the 12th day of the survey months of March, June, September, and December.

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefits in private industry are produced annually in the March reference period for 15 combined and metropolitan statistical areas (CSA and MSA). Further information about metropolitan area ECEC estimates is available at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/bls-introduces-new-employer-costs-for-employee- compensation-data-for-private-industry-workers-in-15-metropolitan-areas.pdf.

For detailed information on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, see Chapter 8, National Compensation Measures, of the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch8.pdf.

Current and historical BLS data are also posted on our Web site at www.bls.gov/ect.

Information from the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation program is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Regional definitions

Northeast region

  • New England division: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Middle Atlantic division: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania

Midwest region

  • East North Central division: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
  • West North Central division: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota

South region

  • South Atlantic division: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
  • East South Central division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee
  • West South Central division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas

West region

  • Mountain division: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
  • Pacific division: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington


Table 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation and costs as a percent of total compensation: Private industry workers, by census region and division, December 2013
Compensation component Census region and division (1)
Northeast Northeast divisions South South divisions
Cost Percent New England Middle Atlantic Cost Percent South Atlantic
Cost Percent Cost Percent Cost Percent

Total compensation

$33.87 100.0 $34.40 100.0 $33.67 100.0 $26.93 100.0 $27.75 100.0

Wages and salaries

23.25 68.7 24.05 69.9 22.95 68.2 19.20 71.3 19.81 71.4

Total benefits

10.61 31.3 10.35 30.1 10.71 31.8 7.73 28.7 7.94 28.6

Paid leave

2.51 7.4 2.39 7.0 2.55 7.6 1.81 6.7 1.94 7.0

Vacation

1.26 3.7 1.22 3.5 1.28 3.8 0.94 3.5 1.01 3.6

Holiday

0.74 2.2 0.74 2.1 0.75 2.2 0.56 2.1 0.59 2.1

Sick

0.34 1.0 0.29 0.9 0.35 1.0 0.22 0.8 0.23 0.8

Personal

0.17 0.5 0.14 0.4 0.18 0.5 0.10 0.4 0.11 0.4

Supplemental pay

1.06 3.1 1.10 3.2 1.05 3.1 0.78 2.9 0.71 2.6

Overtime and premium (2)

0.24 0.7 0.24 0.7 0.25 0.7 0.28 1.0 0.24 0.9

Shift differentials

0.08 0.2 0.10 0.3 0.07 0.2 0.06 0.2 0.06 0.2

Nonproduction bonuses

0.74 2.2 0.76 2.2 0.73 2.2 0.45 1.7 0.41 1.5

Insurance

2.96 8.7 2.73 7.9 3.04 9.0 2.08 7.7 2.13 7.7

Life

0.05 0.1 0.04 0.1 0.05 0.2 0.04 0.1 0.04 0.1

Health

2.77 8.2 2.57 7.5 2.84 8.4 1.95 7.2 2.00 7.2

Short-term disability

0.09 0.3 0.07 0.2 0.10 0.3 0.05 0.2 0.05 0.2

Long-term disability

0.05 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.06 0.2 0.04 0.2 0.04 0.2

Retirement and savings

1.31 3.9 1.36 3.9 1.29 3.8 0.92 3.4 0.96 3.5

Defined benefit

0.58 1.7 0.60 1.7 0.57 1.7 0.36 1.3 0.37 1.3

Defined contribution

0.73 2.2 0.76 2.2 0.72 2.1 0.56 2.1 0.59 2.1

Legally required benefits

2.78 8.2 2.77 8.1 2.78 8.3 2.14 8.0 2.20 7.9

Social Security and Medicare

1.94 5.7 2.00 5.8 1.91 5.7 1.62 6.0 1.66 6.0

Social Security (3)

1.55 4.6 1.60 4.7 1.53 4.5 1.30 4.8 1.34 4.8

Medicare

0.39 1.1 0.40 1.2 0.39 1.1 0.32 1.2 0.33 1.2

Federal unemployment insurance

0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1

State unemployment insurance

0.33 1.0 0.33 1.0 0.32 1.0 0.16 0.6 0.17 0.6

Workers' compensation

0.48 1.4 0.41 1.2 0.51 1.5 0.33 1.2 0.33 1.2

Note: See footnotes at end of table.


Table 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation and costs as a percent of total compensation: Private industry workers, by census region and division, December 2013 - Continued
Compensation component Census region and division (1)
South divisions Midwest Midwest divisions
East South Central West South Central Cost Percent East North Central West North Central
Cost Percent Cost Percent Cost Percent Cost Percent

Total compensation

$24.27 100.0 $26.80 100.0 $28.44 100.0 $28.74 100.0 $27.83 100.0

Wages and salaries

17.24 71.1 19.08 71.2 19.84 69.7 19.92 69.3 19.67 70.7

Total benefits

7.02 28.9 7.71 28.8 8.61 30.3 8.82 30.7 8.15 29.3

Paid leave

1.58 6.5 1.71 6.4 1.95 6.8 1.95 6.8 1.95 7.0

Vacation

0.81 3.4 0.88 3.3 1.05 3.7 1.05 3.7 1.06 3.8

Holiday

0.51 2.1 0.55 2.0 0.59 2.1 0.60 2.1 0.59 2.1

Sick

0.17 0.7 0.21 0.8 0.21 0.7 0.20 0.7 0.22 0.8

Personal

0.08 0.3 0.09 0.3 0.09 0.3 0.10 0.3 0.08 0.3

Supplemental pay

0.68 2.8 0.94 3.5 0.74 2.6 0.81 2.8 0.60 2.2

Overtime and premium (2)

0.31 1.3 0.32 1.2 0.24 0.9 0.27 0.9 0.20 0.7

Shift differentials

0.05 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.07 0.2 0.07 0.3 0.05 0.2

Nonproduction bonuses

0.32 1.3 0.57 2.1 0.43 1.5 0.47 1.6 0.36 1.3

Insurance

2.02 8.3 2.00 7.5 2.55 9.0 2.64 9.2 2.38 8.5

Life

0.04 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.04 0.1 0.04 0.1 0.04 0.1

Health

1.88 7.8 1.88 7.0 2.41 8.5 2.49 8.7 2.24 8.1

Short-term disability

0.05 0.2 0.04 0.1 0.06 0.2 0.06 0.2 0.05 0.2

Long-term disability

0.04 0.2 0.04 0.1 0.05 0.2 0.05 0.2 0.04 0.2

Retirement and savings

0.74 3.0 0.93 3.5 1.03 3.6 1.06 3.7 0.98 3.5

Defined benefit

0.31 1.3 0.37 1.4 0.44 1.6 0.50 1.7 0.33 1.2

Defined contribution

0.43 1.8 0.56 2.1 0.59 2.1 0.56 2.0 0.65 2.3

Legally required benefits

2.00 8.3 2.12 7.9 2.33 8.2 2.37 8.2 2.25 8.1

Social Security and Medicare

1.48 6.1 1.61 6.0 1.67 5.9 1.68 5.8 1.65 5.9

Social Security (3)

1.19 4.9 1.30 4.8 1.34 4.7 1.35 4.7 1.32 4.8

Medicare

0.28 1.2 0.32 1.2 0.33 1.1 0.33 1.1 0.32 1.2

Federal unemployment insurance

0.03 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1 0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1

State unemployment insurance

0.14 0.6 0.16 0.6 0.23 0.8 0.24 0.8 0.21 0.8

Workers' compensation

0.36 1.5 0.33 1.2 0.39 1.4 0.41 1.4 0.36 1.3

Note: See footnotes at end of table.


Table 1. Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation and costs as a percent of total compensation: Private industry workers, by census region and division, December 2013 - Continued
Compensation component Census region and division (1)
West West divisions
Cost Percent Mountain Pacific
Cost Percent Cost Percent

Total compensation

$31.44 100.0 $28.73 100.0 $32.71 100.0

Wages and salaries

22.05 70.1 20.38 70.9 22.83 69.8

Total benefits

9.39 29.9 8.36 29.1 9.88 30.2

Paid leave

2.13 6.8 1.93 6.7 2.23 6.8

Vacation

1.11 3.5 1.05 3.7 1.14 3.5

Holiday

0.65 2.1 0.53 1.8 0.70 2.1

Sick

0.28 0.9 0.24 0.8 0.31 0.9

Personal

0.09 0.3 0.11 0.4 0.08 0.3

Supplemental pay

0.87 2.8 0.93 3.2 0.84 2.6

Overtime and premium (2)

0.21 0.7 0.21 0.7 0.22 0.7

Shift differentials

0.05 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.05 0.2

Nonproduction bonuses

0.61 1.9 0.69 2.4 0.57 1.8

Insurance

2.45 7.8 2.11 7.3 2.61 8.0

Life

0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1

Health

2.34 7.4 1.99 6.9 2.50 7.6

Short-term disability

0.03 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1

Long-term disability

0.04 0.1 0.05 0.2 0.04 0.1

Retirement and savings

1.28 4.1 1.11 3.9 1.35 4.1

Defined benefit

0.59 1.9 0.36 1.3 0.69 2.1

Defined contribution

0.69 2.2 0.75 2.6 0.66 2.0

Legally required benefits

2.66 8.5 2.28 7.9 2.84 8.7

Social Security and Medicare

1.82 5.8 1.68 5.8 1.88 5.8

Social Security (3)

1.45 4.6 1.34 4.7 1.51 4.6

Medicare

0.36 1.2 0.34 1.2 0.37 1.1

Federal unemployment insurance

0.04 0.1 0.03 0.1 0.04 0.1

State unemployment insurance

0.25 0.8 0.19 0.7 0.27 0.8

Workers' compensation

0.56 1.8 0.38 1.3 0.64 2.0

(1) The States that comprise the census divisions are: New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; Middle Atlantic: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania; South Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia; East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee; West South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas; East North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin; West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota; Mountain: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming; and Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.
(2) Includes premium pay for work in addition to the regular work schedule (such as overtime, weekends, and holidays).
(3) Comprises the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

Note: The sum of individual items may not equal totals due to rounding.

 

Last Modified Date: March 13, 2014