The average cost for legally required benefits was $2.20 per hour worked in private industry (8.6 percent of total compensation) in December 2006. Included in this amount are employer costs for Social Security and Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation.
Employer costs for legally required benefits were significantly higher for union workers, $3.15 per hour, than for nonunion workers, $2.09 per hour. As a proportion of total compensation, legally required benefits accounted for 8.8 percent of total compensation for union workers, compared with 8.5 percent for nonunion workers.
Costs for legally required benefits were higher in goods-producing industries ($2.81 per hour or 9.4 percent of total compensation) than in service-providing industries ($2.04 per hour or 8.3 percent of total compensation).
Within goods-producing industries, construction averaged $3.30 per hour worked (11.6 percent), higher than in manufacturing, at $2.55 per hour (8.4 percent). Legally required benefit costs in service-providing industries ranged from $1.23 per hour for the leisure and hospitality industry (11.1 percent) to $2.71 for the information industry (7.1 percent).
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employer costs for legally required benefits, December 2006 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/apr/wk1/art05.htm (visited December 08, 2023).