May 30, 2000 (The Editor’s Desk is updated each business day.)

Benefits bigger piece of union compensation

In March 1999, union workers received much more of their compensation in the form of benefits than did nonunion workers.

Benefits as a percentage of total compensation, private industry, March 1999
[Chart data—TXT]

The proportion of compensation costs accounted for by benefits was 34.5 percent for all union workers and 25.6 percent for nonunion workers. Blue-collar union workers received benefits totaling 36.3 percent of their compensation while blue-collar nonunion workers received 27.2 percent.

In goods-producing industries, benefit costs accounted for 36.4 percent of compensation for union workers compared with 28.5 percent for nonunion workers. In service-producing industries, union workers received benefits totaling 32.6 percent of compensation compared with 24.7 percent for nonunion members. In both goods-producing and service-producing industries, the differential between the union and nonunion percentages was the same—7.9 percentage points.

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.

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