July 29, 2010
The proportion of gross earnings represented by supplemental pay—overtime, bonuses, and shift differentials—is about the same for the healthcare industry (3.1 percent) as it is for the other service-providing industries combined (3.3 percent), but the components of supplemental pay are distributed differently. A notable difference is in the use of shift differential pay, which is substantially higher in the healthcare industry.
Shift differentials represent just 0.1 percent of gross earnings in the other service-providing industries, but 1.2 percent in the healthcare industry. A shift differential is a premium paid for working during hours that are less convenient than those of the typical workday. Many establishments in the healthcare industry operate around the clock and thus need staff for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As a result, shift work is common for many occupations within the healthcare industry.
The percent of gross earnings received as overtime in the healthcare industry (1.2 percent) is slightly higher than in the other service-providing industries (0.9 percent), but the percent received as bonuses in healthcare (0.7 percent) is considerably lower than in the other service-providing industries (2.3 percent).
These data are from the National Compensation Survey and are pooled from private industry data that were collected in March of each year from 2007 to 2010. Although supplemental pay and its components are treated as benefits, they differ from other benefits in that the worker receives supplemental pay as cash payments. To learn more, see "Supplemental Pay in the Healthcare Industry: Overtime Pay, Bonuses, and Shift Differentials" in the July 2010 issue of Compensation and Working Conditions Online.