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Median compensation costs in private industry were $26.88 per hour worked in March 2021

July 01, 2021

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $36.64 per hour worked in March 2021. Wages and salaries averaged $25.80 per hour worked and accounted for 70.4 percent of employer costs. Benefit costs averaged $10.83 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 29.6 percent. Median (50th wage percentile) employer costs per employee hour worked were $26.88 for total compensation, $18.91 for wages and salaries, and $7.97 for benefits.

Employer costs for employee compensation by wage percentiles, March 2021
Compensation component Private industry workers State and local government workers
10th wage percentile 50th (median) wage percentile 90th wage percentile 10th wage percentile 50th (median) wage percentile 90th wage percentile

Total compensation [1]

$13.46 $26.88 $71.99 $22.69 $50.21 $91.14

Wages and salaries

10.94 18.91 48.92 14.13 29.70 57.17

Total benefits

2.52 7.97 23.07 8.56 20.51 33.97

[1] Includes costs for wages and salaries and benefits.

State and local government worker compensation costs for employers averaged $53.68 per hour worked in March 2021. Wages and salaries averaged $33.20 and accounted for 61.9 percent of employer costs, while benefit costs averaged $20.47 and accounted for 38.1 percent. Total compensation costs for state and local government workers at the 50th (median) wage percentile were $50.21.

Total compensation costs for private industry workers ranged from $13.46 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile to $71.99 at the 90th wage percentile. Wages and salaries were $10.94 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile and $48.92 at the 90th wage percentile. Total benefit costs ranged from $2.52 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile to $23.07 at the 90th wage percentile.

Total compensation costs for state and local government workers ranged from $22.69 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile to $91.14 at the 90th wage percentile. Wages and salaries were $14.13 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile and $57.17 at the 90th wage percentile. Total benefit costs ranged from $8.56 per hour worked at the 10th wage percentile to $33.97 at the 90th wage percentile.

These data are from the Employment Cost Trends program. To learn more, see "Employment Cost Index — March 2021." We also have more charts on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. Private industry workers exclude employees of state and local government.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Median compensation costs in private industry were $26.88 per hour worked in March 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/median-compensation-costs-in-private-industry-were-26-88-per-hour-worked-in-march-2021.htm (visited December 05, 2021).

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