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Employer costs for employee compensation, December 2012

March 21, 2013

Private industry employers spent an average of $28.89 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December 2012. Wages and salaries averaged $20.32 per hour worked and accounted for 70.3 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $8.57 and accounted for the remaining 29.7 percent.

Employer cost per hour worked for employee compensation, private industry workers, by occupational group, December 2012
Occupational groupTotalWages and salariesBenefits

All workers


Management, professional, and related


Sales and office





Of total benefit costs, private industry employer costs for paid leave benefits in December 2012 averaged $1.98 per hour worked, or 6.9 percent of total compensation. Included in this amount were employer costs for vacations, holidays, sick leave and personal leave.

Paid leave costs vary widely by full-time and part-time status and bargaining unit status. Paid leave for all full-time workers in private industry were $2.52 per hour worked (7.5 percent of total compensation), significantly higher than part-time workers at just 42 cents (2.8 percent). Paid leave costs for union workers were $2.82 per hour worked (7.1 percent of total compensation) versus $1.90 (6.8 percent) for nonunion workers.

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program. To learn more, see “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation — December 2012” (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-13-0421.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employer costs for employee compensation, December 2012 at (visited June 18, 2024).

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