Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Compensation costs in private industry averaged $36.23 per hour worked in December 2020

March 23, 2021

Employer costs for employee compensation for private industry workers averaged $36.23 per hour worked in December 2020. Wage and salary costs averaged $25.48 and accounted for 70.3 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs were $10.74 and accounted for 29.7 percent.

Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation of private industry workers, by industry, December 2020
Industry Wages and salaries Total benefits Total compensation

All workers

$25.48 $10.74 $36.23

Utilities

41.64 25.98 67.62

Information

37.13 18.90 56.03

Financial activities

33.93 16.92 50.85

Educational services

35.49 13.68 49.17

Professional and business services

31.94 12.45 44.39

Wholesale trade

29.18 12.02 41.20

Construction

28.29 12.32 40.61

Transportation and warehousing

26.45 13.78 40.24

Manufacturing

26.56 13.46 40.02

Health care and social assistance

25.25 10.75 36.00

Other services

21.97 7.57 29.54

Retail trade

16.45 5.20 21.65

Leisure and hospitality

12.46 3.00 15.46

Among the major industry groups, compensation costs were highest for employers in utilities in December 2020, at $67.62 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $41.64 (61.6 percent of total compensation), while total benefits averaged $25.98 (38.4 percent). Employer costs for employee compensation also exceeded $50.00 per hour worked in the information ($56.03) and financial activities ($50.85) industries.

Compensation costs were lowest for employers in the leisure and hospitality industry, at $15.46 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $12.46 (80.6 percent of total compensation), while total benefits averaged $3.00 (19.4 percent).

Employer costs per hour worked for employee compensation of private industry workers, by census division, December 2020
Area Wages and salaries Total benefits Total compensation

Pacific

$30.19 $12.62 $42.81

New England

28.23 12.40 40.63

Middle Atlantic

27.77 12.84 40.61

East North Central

24.63 11.07 35.70

South Atlantic

24.53 9.47 34.00

Mountain

23.61 10.19 33.80

West North Central

22.73 10.08 32.82

West South Central

22.35 8.34 30.68

East South Central

21.30 8.25 29.55

Among the regions, compensation costs for private industry workers were highest in the Pacific states ($42.81), New England ($40.63), and the Middle Atlantic states ($40.61) in December 2020. In the Pacific states, wages and salaries averaged $30.19 (70.5 percent of total compensation), while total benefits averaged $12.62 (29.5 percent).

Compensation costs were lowest in the East South Central states, at $29.55 per hour worked. Wages and salaries averaged $21.30 (72.1 percent of total compensation), while total benefits averaged $8.25 (27.9 percent).

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program. Estimates of employer costs for health insurance are not available for some industries. To learn more, see "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation — December 2020." We also have more charts on employer costs for employee compensation.

The states (including the District of Columbia) that compose the census regions are:

New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
Middle Atlantic: New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
South Atlantic: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia
East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee
West South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas
East North Central: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin
West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota
Mountain: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming
Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington
SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Compensation costs in private industry averaged $36.23 per hour worked in December 2020 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/compensation-costs-in-private-industry-averaged-36-23-per-hour-worked-in-december-2020.htm (visited November 29, 2021).

OF INTEREST
spotlight

Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

triangle