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Economic News Release
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Employee Benefits in the United States Technical Note

                                              TECHNICAL NOTE

Estimates in this release are from the National Compensation Survey (NCS), conducted by the U.S. Department of
Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The NCS provides comprehensive measures of compensation cost levels and
trends and also provides benefits incidence estimates on the percentage of workers with access to and
participating in employer-provided benefit plans.

The Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2022 includes additional details on the coverage, costs, and
provisions of employer-sponsored benefits, and will be published shortly after this news release. See 
www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits for the latest benefits publications. The March 2022 Excel tables present 2022 
estimates of the incidence and key provisions of employer-sponsored benefits for civilian workers, private 
industry workers, as well as state and local government workers by worker and establishment characteristics, and
geographic areas. Each Excel sheet includes the following tables:

-	Table 1: Retirement benefits
-	Table 2: Health benefits 
-	Table 3: Medical care benefits
-	Table 4: Life insurance benefits 
-	Table 5: Short-term disability benefits
-	Table 6: Long-term disability benefits
-	Table 7: Leave benefits 
-	Table 8: Other benefits

Standard errors: Measures of reliability are available for published estimates, which provide users a measure of
the precision of an estimate to ensure that it is within an acceptable range for their intended purpose. For 
further information see www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/nb_var.htm.

Comparing private and public sector data: Incidence of employee benefits in state and local government should not
be directly compared to private industry. Differences between these sectors stem from factors such as variation in
work activities and occupational structures. Manufacturing and sales, for example, make up a large part of private
industry work activities but are rare in state and local government. Administrative support and professional 
occupations (including teachers) account for two-thirds of the state and local government workforce, compared with
one-half of private industry.

Leave benefits for teachers: Primary, secondary, and special education teachers typically have a work schedule of
37 or 38 weeks per year. Because of this work schedule, they are generally not offered vacations or holidays. In
many cases, the time off during winter and spring breaks during the school year are not considered vacation days
for the purposes of this survey.

Medical care premiums: The estimates for medical care premiums are not based on actual decisions regarding medical
coverage made by employees; instead they are based on the assumption that all employees in the occupation can opt
for single or family coverage. Monthly premiums are collected when possible. Annual premiums are converted to
monthly premiums by dividing by 12 months.

Sample rotation: One-third of the private industry sample had been rotated each year except in years when the 
government sample was replaced. Beginning with the March 2022 publication, however, an additional (fourth) private 
industry sample is used in estimation to mitigate the impact of decreasing response rates. The government sample is 
replaced less frequently than the private industry sample. The state and local government sample was replaced in its 
entirety for the March 2017 reference period. As the sample is partially rotated each year and sample weights are 
updated for the reference period based on the Current Employment Statistics, the estimates are not considered a 
time-series.

Sample size:
Appendix table 1. Survey establishment response(1), March 2022
Establishments Civilian Private industry State and local governments

Total in sampling frame(2)

6,927,610 6,697,060 230,550

Total in sample

14,720 13,130 1,600

Responding(3)

8,870 7,450 1,430

Refused(4)

4,750 4,610 140

Out of business or not in survey scope

1,100 1,070 30

Footnotes:
(1) The number of establishments are rounded to the nearest 10. Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals.
(2) The sampling frame was developed from state unemployment insurance reports and is based on the 2017 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). With some minor exceptions, an establishment is a single economic unit that engages in one, or predominantly one, type of economic activity. For private industry, the establishment is usually at a single physical location such as a mine, factory, office, or store; if a sampled establishment is owned by a larger entity with many locations, only the employment and characteristics of the establishment selected for the sample are considered for the survey. For state and local governments, an establishment can include more than one physical location, such as a school district or a police department.
(3) Establishments that provided data at the initial interview.
(4) Establishments that did not provide data at the initial interview. For information on nonresponse adjustment and imputation, see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures available at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ncs/home.htm.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey.

Survey scope:
Appendix table 2. Number of workers represented,(1) March 2022
Occupational group(2) Civilian workers Private industry workers State and local government workers

All workers

139,921,100 121,010,600 18,910,600

Management, professional, and related

44,937,400 34,109,600 10,827,800

Management, business, and financial

13,713,500 12,204,600 -

Professional and related

31,224,000 21,905,100 9,318,900

Teachers

6,864,200 - 5,066,600

Primary, secondary, and special education school teachers

4,778,000 - 3,862,900

Registered nurses

2,851,400 - -

Service

30,447,300 26,549,400 3,897,900

Protective service

3,383,200 1,480,300 1,902,900

Sales and office

33,461,300 30,823,200 2,638,100

Sales and related

13,126,700 13,050,000 -

Office and administrative support

20,334,600 17,773,200 2,561,400

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance

11,312,700 10,517,000 795,700

Construction, extraction, farming, fishing, and forestry

5,787,100 5,354,000 -

Installation, maintenance, and repair

5,525,600 5,162,900 -

Production, transportation, and material moving

19,762,400 19,011,300 751,100

Production

8,928,600 8,808,800 -

Transportation and material moving

10,833,800 10,202,600 -

Footnotes:
(1) The numbers of workers represented by the survey are rounded to the nearest 100. For information on weighting, see the Handbook of Methods: National Compensation Measures available at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ncs/home.htm.
(2) The 2010 Standard Occupational Classification system was used to classify workers.

Note: Because of rounding, sums of individual items may not equal totals. Dashes indicate that no estimates for this characteristic are provided in this publication.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Compensation Survey.

Average hourly wage percentiles: Estimates by worker average wage are grouped into six wage categories- the lowest
10 percent, the lowest 25 percent, the second 25 percent, the third 25 percent, the highest 25 percent, and the
highest 10 percent. The categories use percentile values based on unpublished March 2022 wages and salaries from
the BLS Employer Costs for Employee Compensation publication.

The percentiles are computed using hourly wages and salaries along with scheduled hours of work reported for 
individual workers in sampled establishments. Establishments in the survey are asked to report only individual 
worker wages and salaries for each sampled job. For the calculation of the percentile values, the individual
worker hourly wages and salaries are weighted and arrayed from lowest to highest. The values corresponding to the
percentiles are:

Ownership Average hourly wage percentiles
10 25 50 75 90
(median)

Civilian

$13.09 $16.21 $22.36 $35.29 $53.52

Private industry

$13.00 $16.00 $21.50 $33.77 $52.88

State and local government

$15.42 $20.23 $30.11 $42.30 $57.69
The lowest 10- and 25-percent wage categories include those occupations with an average hourly rate less than the
10th percentile value and 25th percentile value, respectively. The second 25-percent category includes those 
occupations with rates at or above the 25th percentile value but less than the 50th percentile value. The third
25-percent category includes those occupations with rates at or above the 50th percentile value but less than the
75th percentile value. Finally, the highest 25- and 10-percent wage categories include those occupations with an
average hourly wage greater than or equal to the 75th percentile value and 90th percentile value, respectively.

Individual workers can fall into a wage category different from the average for the occupation into which they are
classified because average hourly wages for the occupation are used to produce the benefit estimates.

Obtaining information: For articles on employee benefits, see the Monthly Labor Review benefits section at 
www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/subject/b.htm and Beyond the Numbers: Pay and Benefits at
www.bls.gov/opub/btn/archive/home.htm. The Economics Daily article archive is available at
www.bls.gov/opub/ted/employee-benefits-survey.htm. For technical information, see "National Compensation 
Measures," in the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ncs/home.htm.

Benefit publications from 1980 to the present are also available at www.bls.gov/ncs/ncspubs.htm. The 
latest glossary of benefit terms is available at 
www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/national-compensation-survey-glossary-of-employee-benefit-terms.htm. In addition,
the public databases may also be used to obtain data from 1985 to 2006 and 2010 to the present, see
www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/data.htm.

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Last Modified Date: September 22, 2022