July 15, 2002
In March 2002, private industry health benefit costs averaged $1.29 per hour or 5.9 percent of total compensation. Employer costs for health benefits varied by characteristics such as industry, occupation, and bargaining status.
In goods-producing industries, health benefit costs were higher, $1.84 per hour (7.2 percent of total compensation), than in service-producing industries, $1.13 per hour (5.5 percent of total compensation).
Employer costs for health benefits ranged from $1.48 per hour and 7.3 percent of total compensation for blue-collar occupations to 56 cents and 5.1 percent of total compensation for service occupations. Among white-collar occupations, employer costs for health benefits averaged $1.42 (5.4 percent).
Employer costs for health benefits were higher for union workers, averaging $2.57 per hour (8.7 percent), than for nonunion workers, averaging $1.13 (5.4 percent).
These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Additional information is available from "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, March 2002," news release USDL 02-346.
Note: The publication schedule for the "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation" news release will change this year. Future publications will be issued on a quarterly basis, with data collected for the pay period including the 12th day of the survey months of March, June, September, and December.Publications will be issued approximately three months after the month of reference.Data will be available on a quarterly basis beginning with June 2002 data.