Bureau of Labor Statistics

Private sector wages rose faster than benefits last year

May 19, 2000

Wages in private industry rose 3.0 percent from $13.47 per hour in March 1998 to $13.87 in March 1999. Over the same period, the employers’ cost of benefits rose 2.2 percent to $5.13.

Wages and salaries as a share of private industry compensation costs, March 1986-99
[Chart data—TXT]

As a result, the share of total compensation accounted for by wages and salaries edged up to 73 percent. The year ending in March 1999 was the fifth in a row in which wages gained as a share of compensation.

The portions of compensation that recorded the largest declines as a share of compensation since 1994 were insurance (particularly health insurance) and workers’ compensation programs.

These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Additional information is available from "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, 1986-99," BLS Bulletin 2526.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Private sector wages rose faster than benefits last year at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2000/may/wk3/art05.htm (visited January 20, 2022).

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