Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text


FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EDT) TUESDAY, MARCH 20, 2018				USDL-18-0451

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Media contact:		(202) 691-5902   pressoffice@bls.gov

			EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION  DECEMBER 2017
			

Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $35.87 per hour worked in December 2017, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $24.49 per hour worked 
and accounted for 68.3 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.38 and accounted for 
the remaining 31.7 percent. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged 
$33.72 per hour worked in December 2017. Total employer compensation costs for state and local 
government workers averaged $49.19 per hour worked in December 2017.

Supplemental pay benefit costs in private industry

Supplemental pay includes employer costs for employee nonproduction bonuses, overtime and premium 
pay, and shift differentials. Nonproduction bonuses such as holiday bonuses and cash profit sharing are 
given at the discretion of the employer and not tied to a production formula. Overtime and premium pay 
includes pay for work in addition to the regular work schedule. Shift differentials are extra payments 
for working a non-traditional work schedule.  

Additional highlights of employer compensation costs per hour worked for supplemental pay benefits in 
private industry, December 2017:

 Supplemental pay costs for private industry workers in December 2017 averaged $1.28 per hour 
worked or 3.8 percent of total compensation. (See table 5.)
 Private industry employers spent an average of 92 cents per hour worked or 2.7 percent of total 
compensation on nonproduction bonuses. Costs for nonproduction bonuses by major industry 
group ranged from 8 cents for leisure and hospitality to $3.47 for financial activities industry 
workers. (See tables 5 and 6.)  
 Private industry employers spent an average of 29 cents per hour worked or 0.9 percent of total 
compensation on overtime and premium pay. (See table 5.)
 Private industry employers spent an average of 7 cents per hour worked or 0.2 percent of total 
compensation on shift differentials. (See table 5.)
 Costs for supplemental pay by bargaining status averaged $1.60 for union workers and $1.24 
for nonunion workers. (See table 5.)
 Supplemental pay costs by major occupational group ranged from 31 cents per hour worked for 
service workers to $2.85 per hour worked for management, professional, and related workers. 
(See table 5.)
 Costs for supplemental pay by census region ranged from 95 cents in the West to $2.63 in the 
Northeast. (See table 7.)
 Supplemental pay costs by establishment employment size ranged from $1.04 for establishments 
with 1 to 49 workers to $2.05 for 500 workers or more. (See table 8.)
 Supplemental pay costs for part-time workers (29 cents) were significantly lower than full-time
workers ($1.62). (See table 11.)  

Benefit costs in private industry

Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $2.36 per hour worked or 7.0 percent
of total compensation, supplemental pay averaged $1.28 or 3.8 percent, insurance benefits 
averaged $2.70 or 8.0 percent, retirement and savings costs averaged $1.29 or 3.8 percent, 
and legally required benefits averaged $2.62 per hour worked or 7.8 percent. (See table A 
and table 5.)

Table A.  Relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation, December 2017

Compensation                            Civilian       Private       State and local
  component                             workers(1)     industry        government
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Wages and salaries	         	  68.3%	         69.6%	          62.6%
Benefits	         		  31.7	         30.4	          37.4
   Paid leave	           		   7.1	          7.0	           7.6
   Supplemental pay	           	   3.3	          3.8	           1.0
   Insurance				   8.7	          8.0	          11.8
     Health	           		   8.3	          7.6	          11.5
   Retirement and savings	           5.3	          3.8	          11.5
     Defined benefit	           	   3.3	          1.5	          10.6
     Defined contribution	           2.0	          2.3	           0.8
   Legally required	           	   7.3	          7.8	           5.5

____________________________________________________________________________________________
   1 Includes workers in the private nonfarm economy except those in private households, and 
     workers in the public sector, except the federal government.
____________ 
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for March 2018 is scheduled to be released on 
Friday, June 8, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: March 20, 2018