News Release Information
Thursday, June 18, 2020
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for the Regions – March 2020
Private industry employer costs for employee compensation among the four regions of the country ranged from $31.00 per hour in the South to $40.20 in the West during March 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. In the other two regions, hourly employer costs for employee compensation stood at $33.73 in the Midwest and $39.76 in the Northeast. (See chart 1.) In addition to regional estimates, employer costs for nine smaller geographic divisions are also available. Within divisions, total compensation costs ranged from $28.16 per hour in the East South Central division to $42.94 in the Pacific division. (See table 1.) Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) are based on the National Compensation Survey, which measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits. (Geographic definitions of the regions and divisions follow in the Technical Note.)
In the West, hourly total compensation costs in March 2020 were comprised of the following: wages and salaries ($28.28) made up 70.4 percent, while total benefits ($11.91) accounted for the remaining 29.6 percent. Among benefit costs, insurance, which includes life, health, and short- and long-term disability, averaged $3.18 per hour worked, or 7.9 percent of all compensation costs, the highest share for West employers. Legally required benefits, which include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance (both state and federal), and workers’ compensation, averaged $3.12 per hour and represented 7.8 percent of total compensation costs. Costs for paid leave, which includes vacation, holiday, sick, and personal leave, averaged $3.03 per hour worked, accounting for 7.5 percent of total compensation costs.
In the Northeast, hourly wages and salaries averaged $27.30 and accounted for 68.7 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $12.46, or 31.3 percent of compensation costs. Insurance costs averaged $3.35 per hour, or 8.4 percent of compensation costs in the Northeast. Costs for paid leave averaged $3.14 per hour, accounting for 7.9 percent of total compensation costs. Legally required benefits averaged $3.08 per hour worked and accounted for 7.8 percent of regional compensation costs.
The Midwest region recorded an hourly wage and salary average of $23.37 in March 2020, which represented 69.3 percent of all compensation costs. Total benefits averaged $10.36 and accounted for the remaining 30.7 percent of total compensation costs. The three highest major categories for employer benefit costs were: insurance benefits ($2.96 per hour worked), legally required benefits ($2.56), and paid leave ($2.36). These categories represented 8.8 percent, 7.6 percent, and 7.0 percent, respectively, of total employer compensation costs in the Midwest.
In the South, wages and salaries averaged $22.27 per hour and comprised 71.8 percent of total employer compensation costs, while benefits, at $8.73 per hour, accounted for the remaining 28.2 percent. Legally required benefits averaged $2.32 per hour worked, followed by insurance benefits at $2.17 per hour; these categories accounted for 7.5 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively, of total compensation costs in the South. Paid leave was the third-highest benefit cost and averaged $2.15 per hour, accounting for 6.9 percent of employer compensation costs in the region.
Overall, compensation costs among private industry employers in the United States averaged $35.34 per hour worked in March 2020. Wages and salaries, at $24.82 per hour, accounted for 70.2 percent of these costs, while benefits, at $10.53, made up the remaining 29.8 percent.
The June 2020 national release on Employer Costs for Employee Compensation is scheduled to be released on Thursday, September 17, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. (ET).
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Impact on March 2020 ECEC Data
The Employer Cost for Employee Compensation (ECEC) reference date was March 12, 2020. Response rates for March were comparable with prior releases, and no changes in estimation procedures were necessary. Additional information is available at www.bls.gov/covid19/home.htm.
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC) measures the average cost to employers for wages and salaries and benefits per employee hour worked.
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data in this release cover private industry. Excluded from private industry are the self-employed and farm and private household workers. The cost levels for this quarter were collected from a probability sample of approximately 25,600 occupational observations selected from a sample of about 6,300 private industry establishments. The private industry sample is rotated over approximately three years, which makes the sample more representative of the economy and reduces respondent burden. Data are collected for the pay period including the 12th day of the survey months of March, June, September, and December.
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefits in private industry are produced annually in the March reference period for 15 combined and metropolitan statistical areas (CSA and MSA). Further information about metropolitan area ECEC estimates is available at www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/bls-introduces-new-employer-costs-for-employee-compensation-data-for-private-industry-workers-in-15-metropolitan-areas.pdf.
For detailed information on ECEC, see “National Compensation Measures,” of the BLS Handbook of Methods at www.bls.gov/opub/hom/ncs/home.htm.
Current and historical BLS data are also posted on our Web site at www.bls.gov/ect.
Information from the Employer Costs for Employee Compensation program is available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
- New England division: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
- Middle Atlantic division: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania
- East North Central division: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin
- West North Central division: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
- South Atlantic division: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
- East South Central division: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee
- West South Central division: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
- Mountain division: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
- Pacific division: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
|Wages and salaries||Total benefits||Paid leave||Supplemental pay||Insurance||Retirement and savings||Legally required benefits|
|Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent||Cost ($)||Percent|
East South Central
West South Central
East North Central
West North Central
Last Modified Date: Thursday, June 18, 2020