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Economic News Release
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Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Summary

For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Thursday, March 19, 2020				          USDL-20-0451

Technical information:	(202) 691-6199  •  ncsinfo@bls.gov  •  www.bls.gov/ect
Media contact:		(202) 691-5902  •  pressoffice@bls.gov


		      EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION – DECEMBER 2019


Private industry employers spent an average of $34.72 per hour worked for total employee compensation in
December 2019, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $24.36
per hour worked and accounted for 70.1 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $10.37 and
accounted for the remaining 29.9 percent. (See table 1.)

Within total benefits, supplemental pay costs averaged $1.19 per hour worked or 3.4 percent of total
compensation. Supplemental pay includes employer costs for employee shift differentials (extra payments
for working a non-traditional work schedule) that averaged $0.08 (0.2 percent), overtime and premium pay
(pay for work in addition to the regular work schedule) that averaged $0.31 (0.9 percent), and
nonproduction bonuses (such as holiday bonuses or end-of-year bonuses which are given at the discretion
of the employer and are not tied to a production formula) at $0.79 (2.3 percent). (See table 1.)

Supplemental pay costs for goods-producing industry workers averaged $1.74 per hour worked or 4.4
percent of total compensation, including $0.12 for shift differentials (0.3 percent), $0.70 for overtime
and premium pay (1.8 percent), and $0.92 (2.3 percent) for nonproduction bonuses. Supplemental pay costs
in goods-producing industries ranged from $1.36 (3.4 percent) in construction to $1.91 (4.9 percent) in
manufacturing. (See table 4 and the database query tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)

Supplemental pay costs for service-providing industry workers averaged $1.07 per hour worked or 3.2
percent of total compensation, including $0.07 (0.2 percent) for shift differentials, $0.24
(0.7 percent) for overtime and premium pay and $0.77 (2.3 percent) for nonproduction bonuses.
Supplemental pay costs averaged $0.24 in the leisure and hospitality industry with a relative standard
error (RSE) of 13.1 percent corresponding to a 90 percent confidence interval of $0.19 to $0.29. In the
financial activities industry, supplemental pay costs averaged $2.92 with an RSE of 10.4 percent
corresponding to a 90 percent confidence interval of $2.42 to $3.42. (See table 4, the technical note,
and the database query tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)

Within occupational groups, employer supplemental pay costs for management, professional, and related
workers averaged $2.22 per hour worked or 3.7 percent of total compensation including $0.12
(0.2 percent) for shift differentials, and $0.18 (0.3 percent) for overtime and premium pay. The largest
employer cost portion of supplemental pay was $1.92 (3.2 percent) for nonproduction bonuses. Employer
supplemental pay costs for natural resources, construction, and maintenance workers averaged $1.35
(3.7 percent). Shift differential costs were $0.05 (0.1 percent), nonproduction bonuses were $0.41
(1.1 percent), and overtime and premium pay $0.89 (2.4 percent). (See table 4 and the database query
tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)

Among census regions, employer costs for supplemental pay ranged from $1.09 per hour worked or 3.6
percent of total compensation in the South to $1.36 (3.5 percent) in the Northeast. Employer costs for
shift differentials in the Midwest averaged $0.10 (0.3 percent) and $0.10 (0.2 percent) in the
Northeast. Overtime and premium pay costs were $0.29 (0.9 percent) in the South and $0.37 (1.1 percent)
in the Midwest regions. Employer costs for nonproduction bonuses ranged from $0.73 (2.4 percent) in the
South to $0.96 (2.4 percent) in the Northeast. (See table 7 and the database query tool at
www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)

Supplemental pay employer costs averaged $1.14 per hour worked or 3.4 percent of total compensation for
nonunion workers and $1.72 (3.6 percent) for union workers. Overtime and premium costs were the largest
component of supplemental pay for union workers averaging $0.89 (1.8 percent), while nonproduction bonus
costs were the largest share of supplemental pay for nonunion workers averaging $0.81 (2.4 percent).
(See table 5 and the database query tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)

Other highlights in private industry (See table 1.)

• Paid leave averaged $2.53 per hour worked or 7.3 percent of total compensation. Average costs for paid
leave components include $0.14 for personal leave (0.4 percent), $0.34 for sick leave (1.0 percent),
$0.75 for holiday leave (2.2 percent), and $1.30 for vacation leave (3.8 percent).
• Insurance benefits averaged $2.76 per hour worked or 8.0 percent of total compensation. Average costs
for insurance components include $0.04 for life insurance (0.1 percent), $0.04 for long-term disability
(0.1 percent), $0.07 for short-term disability (0.2 percent), and $2.61 for health insurance
(7.5 percent).
• Retirement and savings averaged $1.22 per hour worked or 3.5 percent of total compensation. Average
costs for retirement and savings components include $0.42 for defined benefit (1.2 percent) and $0.80
for defined contribution (2.3 percent).
• Legally required benefits averaged $2.66 per hour worked or 7.7 percent of total compensation,
including $2.05 or 5.9 percent of total compensation for social security and Medicare, $0.03 per hour
(0.1 percent) for federal unemployment insurance, $0.14 per hour (0.4 percent) for state unemployment
insurance, and $0.45 (1.3 percent) for workers’ compensation.

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

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Last Modified Date: March 19, 2020