June 17, 2005
The average employer cost for health benefits was $1.64 per hour worked in private industry in March 2005—6.8 percent of total compensation.
Five years earlier, in March 2000, employer costs for health benefits averaged $1.09, or 5.5 percent of total compensation.
Employer costs for health benefits varied by industry, occupation, bargaining status, region, and establishment size. For example, in goods-producing industries in March 2005, health benefit costs were higher, $2.28 per hour, than in service-providing industries, $1.48 per hour. Another example: Employer costs for health benefits were significantly higher for union workers, averaging $3.41 per hour, than for nonunion workers, averaging $1.42.