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Economic News Release
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Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Summary


For release 10:00 a.m. (ET) Thursday, March 18, 2021				       USDL-21-0437

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 2020
			
Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers averaged $38.60 per hour worked in
December 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries cost
employers $26.53 and accounted for 68.7 percent of total costs, while benefits cost $12.07 and
accounted for the remaining 31.3 percent. (See table 1.)

State and local government employer costs averaged $53.47 per hour worked. Wages and salaries
averaged $33.08 per hour worked and represented 61.9 percent of total compensation costs, while
benefit costs averaged $20.39 and accounted for the remaining 38.1 percent. (See tables 1 and 3.) 

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $36.23 per hour worked in
December 2020. Wage and salary costs averaged $25.48 and accounted for 70.3 percent of employer
costs, while benefit costs were $10.74 and accounted for 29.7 percent. (See tables 1 and 4.)

Within total benefits, supplemental pay costs averaged $1.15 per hour worked or 3.0 percent of
total compensation for civilian workers, $1.25 per hour worked (3.5 percent) for private industry
workers, and $0.54 per hour worked (1.0 percent) for workers in state and local government.
(See table 1.)

Supplemental pay includes employer costs for employee shift differentials (extra payments for
working a non-traditional work schedule), overtime and premium pay (pay in addition to the regular 
work schedules, and pay for work on weekends and holidays), 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).   

For private industry workers, nonproduction bonuses cost employers $0.84 per employee hour worked
or 2.3 percent of total compensation, overtime and premium pay cost $0.33 per hour worked
(0.9 percent), and shift differentials cost $0.08 per hour worked (0.2 percent). (See table 1.)

Supplemental pay costs by occupational group ranged from $0.38 per employee hour worked or 2.1
percent of total compensation in service occupations to $2.28 (3.7 percent) in management,
professional, and related occupations. (See table 4.)

Nonproduction bonus costs ranged from $0.14 per employee hour worked or 0.8 percent of total
compensation in service occupations to $1.97 (3.2 percent) in management, professional, and related
occupations, while overtime and premium pay costs ranged from $0.17 (1.0 percent) in service
occupations to $0.94 (2.4 percent) in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.

Supplemental pay costs varied by bargaining unit status. Supplemental pay costs for union workers
were $1.86 per hour worked or 3.6 percent of total compensation, while costs for nonunion workers
were $1.20 (3.4 percent). (See table 5.) Overtime and premium costs was the largest component of 
supplemental pay costs for union workers at $0.94 per hour worked, while for nonunion workers the 
largest component was nonproduction bonus costs at $0.86.

Estimates for supplemental pay components are available through the database query tool at
www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.
 _________________________________________________________________________________________________
|               Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on December 2020 ECEC Data                 |
|The Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) reference date was December 12, 2020.        |
|Response rates for December were comparable with prior releases, and no changes in estimation    |
|procedures were necessary. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/effects-of-|
|covid-19-on-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-compensation-and-occupational-requirements.htm#ECEC.|
|_________________________________________________________________________________________________|

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for March 2021 is scheduled to be released on Thursday,
June 17, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).

The PDF version of the news release

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Last Modified Date: March 18, 2021