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Private industry compensation costs averaged $43.11 per hour worked in December 2023

March 27, 2024

Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged $43.11 per hour worked in December 2023. Wages and salaries averaged $30.33 per hour worked and accounted for 70.4 percent of employer costs, while total benefit costs averaged $12.77 per hour worked and accounted for the remaining 29.6 percent. Total benefit costs consist of five major categories and include 18 benefit costs. Within the chart below, drill down by selecting the bars in bold to see details for each of the five major categories: paid leave, supplemental pay, insurance, retirement and savings, and legally required benefits. 

Average employer costs for employee compensation, private industry workers, December 2023
Compensation type Cost per hour (in dollars)

Wages and salaries

30.33

Paid leave

3.26

Vacation

1.67

Holiday

0.96

Sick

0.43

Personal

0.20

Legally required benefits

3.17

Social Security and Medicare

2.57

  Social Security(1)

2.06

  Medicare

0.51

Federal unemployment insurance

0.03

State unemployment insurance

0.14

Workers' compensation

0.43

Insurance

3.14

Life

0.05

Health

2.94

Short-term disability

0.10

Long-term disability

0.05

Supplemental pay

1.71

Overtime and premium(2)

0.43

Shift differentials

0.08

Nonproduction bonuses

1.20

Retirement and savings

1.50

Defined benefit

0.42

Defined contribution

1.07

Note: Categories may not add to the total due to rounding.

(1) Social Security refers to the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program.

(2) Includes premium pay for work (such as overtime, weekends, and holidays) in addition to the regular work schedule.

Employer costs for paid leave averaged $3.26 per hour worked in December 2023 with vacation accounting for $1.67 of the costs. Employers also paid on average $3.17 per hour worked for legally required benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, federal and state unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation. Among these costs, Social Security accounted for $2.06 per hour worked.

Insurance including life, health, short-term disability, and long-term disability cost employers on average $3.14 per hour worked for private industry employees. Among the insurance costs, health insurance was $2.94 per hour worked. Supplemental pay including overtime and premium, shift differentials, and nonproduction bonuses cost employers $1.71 per hour worked during the same period.

Total average employer costs for retirement and savings were $1.50 per hour worked in December 2023. This includes average costs for defined benefit plans, $0.42 per hour worked, and defined contribution plans, $1.07 per hour worked.

These data are from the Employer Cost for Employee Compensation program. To learn more, see "Employer Costs for Employee Compensation — December 2023." We also have more charts on the latest Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release. For more information on paid leave, insurance, and other benefits see the ECEC Factsheets or the Handbook of Methods.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Private industry compensation costs averaged $43.11 per hour worked in December 2023 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2024/private-industry-compensation-costs-averaged-43-11-per-hour-worked-in-december-2023.htm (visited April 15, 2024).

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