Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text


FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EDT) FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2018                           USDL-18-0944

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  MARCH 2018
			

Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.32 per hour worked in March 2018, the 
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $24.77 per hour 
worked and accounted for 68.2 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.55 and 
accounted for the remaining 31.8 percent. Total employer compensation costs for private industry 
workers averaged $34.17 per hour worked in March 2018. Total employer compensation costs for 
state and local government workers averaged $49.40 per hour worked.

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey,
measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits for nonfarm private and state
and local government workers.

Metropolitan area costs in private industry

Total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefit costs in private industry are included in 
this release for 15 combined and metropolitan statistical areas (CSAs and MSAs). In March 2018, 
total compensation costs for the 15 areas ranged from $31.32 per hour worked in the Miami-
Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA to $56.92 per hour worked in the San Jose-San Francisco-
Oakland, CA CSA. (See table 15.)  

Health insurance costs in private industry

 The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.58 per hour worked in private industry 
(7.5 percent of total compensation) in March 2018. (See table 5.)
 Among occupational groups, employer costs for health insurance benefits ranged from $1.07 per 
hour worked (6.7 percent of total compensation) for service occupations, to $4.02 (6.6 percent) 
for management, professional, and related occupations. (See table 5.)
 Employer costs for health insurance benefits were significantly higher for union workers, 
averaging $6.13 per hour worked (12.9 percent of total compensation), than for nonunion workers, 
averaging $2.24 (6.8 percent of total compensation). (See table 5.) 
 Among major industry groups, health insurance benefit costs ranged from 82 cents per hour 
(5.5 percent of total compensation) for leisure and hospitality to $4.81 for information 
(8.4 percent). (See table 6.)
 Among the four regions, costs for health insurance benefits were $2.19 per hour worked 
(7.1 percent of total compensation) in the South; $2.59 (8.4 percent) in the Midwest; $2.69 
(7.3 percent) in the West; and $3.16 (7.6 percent) in the Northeast. (See table 7.)
 Establishments with fewer than 50 workers averaged $1.69 per hour worked for healthcare 
benefits (6.0 percent of total compensation); those with 50-99 workers averaged $2.20 
(7.1 percent); those with 100-499 employees averaged $2.94 (8.5 percent); and those with 500 or 
more employees averaged $4.31 (8.8 percent). (See table 8.)

Benefit costs in private industry

Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $2.40 per hour worked or 7.0 percent of 
total compensation, supplemental pay averaged $1.32 or 3.9 percent, insurance benefits averaged 
$2.74 or 8.0 percent, retirement and savings costs averaged $1.30 or 3.8 percent, and legally 
required benefits averaged $2.65 per hour worked or 7.8 percent. (See table A and table 5.)

Table A.  Relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation, March 2018

Compensation                            Civilian       Private       State and local
  component                             workers(1)     industry        government
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Wages and salaries                       68.2%           69.5%            62.6%
Benefits                                 31.8            30.5             37.4
   Paid leave                             7.1             7.0              7.5
   Supplemental pay                       3.3             3.9              1.0
   Insurance                              8.8             8.0             11.9
     Health                               8.3             7.5             11.6
   Retirement and savings                 5.3             3.8             11.5
     Defined benefit                      3.3             1.5             10.7
     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 June 2018 is scheduled to be released on 
Tuesday, September 18, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

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Last Modified Date: June 08, 2018