Employer costs for legally required benefits in December 2011
March 22, 2012
Private industry employers spent an average of $28.57 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December 2011. Wages and salaries averaged $20.14 per hour worked and accounted for 70.5 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $8.43 and accounted for the remaining 29.5 percent.
The average cost for legally required benefits was $2.33 per hour worked in private industry (8.1 percent of total compensation) in December 2011. Social Security comprises the largest legally required benefit cost component at $1.34 per hour or 4.7 percent of total compensation. Legally required benefits such as Social Security and Medicare are often directly linked to wages; therefore, higher paid occupations or industries will typically show higher cost estimates for this compensation component.
Costs for other legally required benefits include workers' compensation, which averaged 41 cents per hour worked (1.4 percent of total compensation); Medicare, which averaged 33 cents (1.2 percent); state unemployment insurance, which averaged 21 cents per hour worked (0.8 percent); and federal unemployment insurance, which averaged just 2 cents per hour worked (0.1 percent).
Employer costs for legally required benefits varied by establishment size and industry. Legally required benefits costs for private industry establishments with fewer than 50 workers were $2.06 per hour worked in December 2011, compared with $2.22 for establishments with 50 to 99 employees, $2.34 for establishments with 100 to 499 employees, and $2.96 for establishments with 500 employees or more.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employer costs for legally required benefits in December 2011 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120322.htm (visited August 09, 2020).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- Using BLS Data to Match People with Disabilities with Jobs Presents data that can help increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities in the nation’s labor market.
- How Women and Aging Affect Trends in Labor Force Growth Examines how women’s labor force participation and the aging of the U.S. population affect trends in labor force growth.
- Meal Appeal: Patterns of Expenditures on Food away from Home
Examines spending on food away from home, such as meals or snacks from restaurants, vending machines, employer cafeterias, or other venues.
- Job Flexibilities and Work Schedules in 2017–18
Examines data on job flexibilities, such as working at home, flexible schedules, and shift work.