June 11, 2009
The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.00 per hour worked in private industry (7.3 percent of total compensation) in March 2009. In March 1999, employer costs for health benefits averaged $1.03, or 5.4 percent of total compensation.
Among occupational groups, employer costs for health insurance benefits ranged from 91 cents per hour and 6.7 percent of total compensation for service workers, to $2.91 and 6.0 percent of total compensation for management, professional, and related occupations.
Among other occupational categories, employer costs for health benefits averaged $1.77 (8.3 percent) for sales and office occupations, lower than $2.44 (7.9 percent) for natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations, and $2.25 (9.7 percent) for production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
Employer costs for health insurance benefits were significantly higher for union workers, averaging $4.15 per hour (11.4 percent), than for nonunion workers, averaging $1.75 (6.6 percent).