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Highest compensation reported in white-collar occupations

February 17, 1999

In March 1998, employer costs for employee compensation averaged $18.50 per hour for private industry workers. Compensation costs for employees in white-collar occupations were $22.38 per hour, compared with $17.56 per hour for blue-collar occupations and $9.37 per hour for service occupations.

Employer costs for employee compensation by occupation, March 1998
[Chart data—TXT]

Of all white-collar occupational groups, executive, administrative, and managerial workers had the highest compensation costs at $34.37 per hour, including $25.02 for wages and $9.35 for benefits. Professional specialty and technical occupations also had high compensation costs at $29.54 per hour, $21.80 of which was for wages.

The white-collar occupations with the lowest hourly compensation costs for employers were sales ($15.56) and administrative support, including clerical ($15.83). These wage packages still were more than $6 higher than the average for service workers and about $2 less than the average for all blue-collar workers.

These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Additional information is available from the bulletin, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, 1986-98.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Highest compensation reported in white-collar occupations at (visited July 15, 2024).

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