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Economic News Release
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Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text

For release 10:00 a.m. (EST) Wednesday, December 18, 2019				 USDL-19-2195

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 2019


State and local government compensation averaged $51.66 per hour worked in September 2019, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $32.19 per hour worked and
represented 62.3 percent of total compensation costs, while benefit costs averaged $19.47 and accounted
for the remaining 37.7 percent. (See tables 1 and 3.)

Among state and local government occupational groups, total compensation costs ranged from $35.85 per
hour worked for sales and office to $62.08 for management, professional, and related occupations. Among
industry groups, total compensation costs were $54.10 per hour worked in the education and health services
industry and $49.71 in public administration. (See table 3.)

State and local government wages and salaries ranged from $20.68 per hour worked for sales and office to
$40.06 for management, professional, and related occupations. Wages and salaries accounted for 57.7
percent of total compensation for sales and office and 64.5 percent in management, professional, and
related occupations. (See table 3.)

Total benefit costs ($19.47) include paid leave ($3.87), supplemental pay ($0.51), insurance ($6.07),
retirement and savings ($6.17), and legally required benefit ($2.85) costs. The average total benefit
costs in the public administration industry were $20.95 or 42.1 percent of total compensation. (See tables
1 and 3.) 

Benefit costs for state and local government workers - continued

Paid leave consists of vacation ($1.47), holiday ($1.10), sick ($1.00), and personal ($0.31) costs. The
average cost for paid leave was $3.87 per hour worked or 7.5 percent of total compensation. The largest
paid leave cost among occupational groups was $4.37 per hour worked or 7.0 percent of total compensation
for management, professional, and related occupations. The average cost in the junior colleges, colleges
and universities industry was $5.22 or 8.7 percent of total compensation. (See tables 1 and 3.)

Supplemental pay costs for state and local government workers averaged $0.51 per hour worked or 1.0 percent
of total compensation. These costs include shift differentials, $0.05 (0.1 percent of total compensation),
overtime and premium pay, $0.22 (0.4 percent), and nonproduction bonuses $0.24 (0.5 percent). (See tables
1 and 3.)

The percentage of workers with access to nonproduction bonus benefits are available as part of the Employee 
Benefits in the United States publication, see www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2019/benefits_other.htm.

Insurance costs were $6.07 per employee hour worked, or 11.7 percent of total compensation. The largest
component was health insurance at $5.92 or 11.5 percent of total compensation. Insurance was the largest
benefit cost for sales and office occupations at $5.69 (15.9 percent of total compensation). (See tables
1 and 3.)

Retirement and savings benefit costs averaged $6.17 per hour worked (11.9 percent of total compensation).
These costs include defined benefit plans ($5.74), and defined contribution plans ($0.43). (See tables 1
and 3.)

Legally required benefit costs averaged $2.85 per hour worked (5.5 percent of total compensation), including
Social Security and Medicare ($2.22), state and federal unemployment insurance ($0.06), and workers’ 
compensation ($0.56). (See tables 1 and 3.)


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Last Modified Date: December 18, 2019