Employee benefits cost employers $10.70 per hour in March 2016

June 14, 2016

Employers paid an average of $33.94 per hour for employee compensation for civilian workers in March 2016. $23.25 (68.5 percent) of total compensation was paid for employees’ wages and salaries while $10.70 (31.5 percent) went toward benefits. Over the year, costs for wages and salaries increased $0.37 and costs for benefits rose $0.09.

Employer costs for employee compensation for civilian workers by compensation type, March 2016
Compensation component Cost per hour worked

Wages and salaries

$23.25

Benefits

10.70

Paid leave

2.35

Vacation

1.15

Holiday

0.71

Sick leave

0.35

Personal leave

0.15

Supplemental pay

1.05

Overtime and premium pay

0.26

Shift differentials

0.06

Nonproduction bonuses

0.74

Insurance

3.00

Life insurance

0.05

Health insurance

2.85

Short-term disability insurance

0.05

Long-term disability insurance

0.05

Retirement and savings

1.74

Defined benefit

1.09

Defined contribution

0.65

Legally Required benefits

2.55

Social Security

1.49

Medicare

0.39

Federal unemployment insurance

0.03

State unemployment insurance

0.18

Workers' compensation

0.47

Among the five major benefit categories, employers spent the most for insurance ($3.00 per hour) and the least for supplemental pay ($1.05) in March 2016. Most of the costs in the insurance category were health insurance, which cost employers $2.85 per hour on average. Following health insurance, employers’ costs for social security were the next highest at $1.49 per hour per employee.

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program. To learn more, see “Employer Costs for Employee Compensation — March 2016” (HTML) (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employee benefits cost employers $10.70 per hour in March 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/employee-benefits-cost-employers-10-dollars-and-70-cents-per-hour-in-march-2016.htm (visited December 11, 2018).

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