Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text
Last Modified Date: September 17, 2019
For release 10:00 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday, September 17, 2019 USDL-19-1649
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EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION – JUNE 2019
Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $36.61 per hour worked in June 2019, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $25.12 per hour worked and
accounted for 68.6 percent of these costs, while benefit costs averaged $11.48 and accounted for the
remaining 31.4 percent. (See table 1.)
Highlights of employer benefit costs for civilian workers (See table 1.)
• Paid leave averaged $2.64 per hour worked or 7.2 percent of total compensation. Average costs
for paid leave components include $1.30 per hour for vacation (3.5 percent of total
compensation), $0.78 for holiday (2.1 percent), $0.41 for sick leave (1.1 percent), and $0.16 for
personal leave (0.4 percent).
• Supplemental pay averaged $1.03 per hour worked or 2.8 percent of total compensation.
Average costs for supplemental pay components include $0.67 per hour for nonproduction
bonuses (1.8 percent), $0.29 for overtime and premium (0.8 percent), and $0.07 for shift
differentials (0.2 percent).
• Insurance benefits averaged $3.19 per hour worked or 8.7 percent of total compensation.
Average costs for insurance components include $0.05 per hour for life insurance (0.1 percent),
$3.04 for health insurance (8.3 percent), $0.06 for short-term disability (0.2 percent), and
$0.04 for long-term disability (0.1 percent).
• Retirement and savings averaged $1.94 per hour worked or 5.3 percent of total compensation.
Average costs for retirement and savings components include $1.20 per hour for defined benefit
(3.3 percent) and $0.74 for defined contribution (2.0 percent).
• Legally required benefits averaged $2.68 per hour worked or 7.3 percent of total compensation.
Highlights of retirement and savings costs in private industry
• Employer costs for retirement and savings averaged $1.31 per hour worked or 3.8 percent of
total compensation. Retirement and savings include $0.52 per hour for defined benefit (1.5
percent) and $0.79 for defined contribution (2.3 percent). (See table 1 and the database
query tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)
• Employer retirement and savings costs by occupational group ranged from $0.30 per hour
worked for service workers (1.7 percent of total compensation) to $2.54 for management,
professional, and related workers (4.2 percent). (See table 4.)
• Employer costs for nonunion workers retirement and savings were $1.03 per hour worked (3.1
percent of total compensation) and $4.19 (8.8 percent) for union workers. Defined benefit costs
were significantly lower for nonunion workers at $0.28 (0.8 percent) compared with $3.01 (6.3
percent) for union workers. (See table 5 and the database query tool at www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/data.htm.)
• Among major industry groups, retirement and savings benefit costs ranged from $0.26 per
hour worked for leisure and hospitality workers (1.6 percent of total compensation) to $2.25 for
information workers (3.9 percent). (See table 4.)
• Employer costs among census regions averaged $1.11 per hour worked in the South (3.6 percent
of total compensation), $1.21 in the Midwest (3.8 percent), $1.53 in the West (4.0 percent), and
$1.54 in the Northeast (4.0 percent). (See table 7.)
• Employer costs varied by establishment size. The smallest establishments (fewer than 50
workers) averaged $0.68 per hour worked (2.4 percent of total compensation) for retirement and
savings benefits; those with 50-99 workers averaged $0.95 (3.1 percent); those with 100-499
employees averaged $1.42 (4.0 percent); and those with 500 or more employees averaged $2.77
(5.6 percent). (See table 6.)
• Employer costs by work status averaged $0.37 per hour worked for part-time workers (2.0
percent of total compensation) and $1.63 per hour worked for full-time workers (4.1 percent).
Costs for part-time workers in service occupations averaged $0.14 (1.0 percent), compared with
$0.45 (2.2 percent) for full-time workers. (See table 5.)