June 25, 2004
In March 2004, private industry employer compensation costs averaged $23.29 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $16.64 per hour, while benefits averaged $6.65.
Within goods-producing industries, employer compensation costs averaged $27.19 per hour. For construction industry employees, compensation costs were $27.17 per hour ($19.02 in wages, and $8.15 in benefits). For manufacturing workers, compensation costs were $26.97 ($17.59 for wages, and $9.39 for benefits).
Compensation costs varied greatly in service-providing industries. They ranged from $10.39 in leisure and hospitality ($8.23 wages, $2.16 benefits), to $33.66 in the information industry ($23.73 wages, $9.94 benefits). The average total compensation cost for service-providing industries was $22.33.
These data are from the BLS Compensation Cost Trends program. See Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, March 2004 (PDF) (TXT), USDL 04-1105, to learn more. This is the first Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release to contain estimates calculated using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Note: the average compensation cost for goods-producing industries includes mining, which is not shown separately.