Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text


FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EST) FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15, 2017				USDL-17-1646

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 – SEPTEMBER 2017
			
Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $35.64 per hour worked in September 2017,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $24.33 per
hour worked and accounted for 68.3 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged
$11.31 and accounted for the remaining 31.7 percent. Total employer compensation costs for
private industry workers averaged $33.55 per hour worked in September 2017. Total employer
compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $48.78 per hour worked in
September 2017.

Highlights of employer compensation costs per hour worked for state and local government
workers, September 2017:

• State and local government employers spent an average of $48.78 per hour worked for
employee total compensation.
• Employer costs for wages and salaries averaged $30.54 per hour and accounted for 62.6
percent of compensation costs. (See table 3.)
• Employer costs for benefits averaged $18.24 per hour worked and accounted for the
remaining 37.4 percent. (See table 3.)
• Employer costs by occupational group ranged from $33.64 per hour worked for sales and
office workers to $58.76 per hour worked for management, professional, and related workers.
This major occupational group includes teachers, whose compensation costs averaged $64.77
per hour worked. Service workers averaged $35.59. (See table 4.)
• Employers spent $5.56 per hour worked, or 11.4 percent of total compensation for
retirement and savings benefits. (See table 3.)
• Employer costs for retirement and savings for management, professional, and related
workers averaged $6.68 per hour worked. Employer costs for retirement and savings for sales
and office workers averaged $3.44, and service workers averaged $4.48. (See table 4.)
• Included in retirement and savings benefits were employer costs for defined benefit plans,
which averaged $5.16 per hour (10.6 percent of total compensation), and defined contribution
plans, which averaged 39 cents (0.8 percent). (See chart 2 and table 3.)
• Insurance benefit costs averaged $5.80 per hour, or 11.9 percent of total compensation.
The largest component of insurance costs was health insurance, which averaged $5.65, or 11.6
percent of total compensation. (See chart 2 and table 3.)
• Employer costs for paid leave include vacation, holiday, sick leave, and personal leave.
The average cost for paid leave was $3.68 per hour worked for state and local government
employees. (See table 3.)
• Employer costs for legally required benefits, including Social Security, Medicare,
unemployment insurance (both state and federal), and workers’ compensation, averaged $2.71
per hour worked. (See table 3.)

Benefit costs in private industry

Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $2.32 per hour worked or 6.9 percent
of total compensation, supplemental pay averaged $1.19 or 3.6 percent, insurance benefits
averaged $2.68 or 8.0 percent, retirement and savings costs averaged $1.39 or 4.1 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, September 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                             7.0            6.9              7.5
   Supplemental pay                       3.1            3.6              1.0
   Insurance                              8.7            8.0             11.9
     Health	                          8.3            7.5             11.6
   Retirement and savings                 5.5            4.1             11.4
     Defined benefit                      3.5            1.9             10.6
     Defined contribution                 2.0            2.2              0.8
   Legally required                       7.4            7.8              5.6
____________________________________________________________________________________________
   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 December 2017 is scheduled to be released on 
Tuesday, March 20,2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: December 15, 2017