Benefits Account for 30% of Compensation Costs in June

September 22, 2006 ( - Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $26.86 per hour in June 2006, according to data from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A BLS news release said wages and salaries made up 70% of these costs ($18.80), while benefits accounted for the other 30% ($8.06). Costs for legally required benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’ compensation, averaged $2.17 per hour.

Employers spent an average of $2.19 per hour for life, health, and disability insurance benefits and $1.88 on average for paid leave benefits, the release said. Retirement and savings benefits averaged $1.15 per hour.

In the private sector, for June 2006, the average cost for retirement and savings benefits was $0.91 per hour. Defined benefit plans accounted for $0.45 of that cost, while defined contribution plans accounted for $0.46.

By occupation category, retirement and savings costs were lowest for service occupations ($0.18 per hour) and highest for management and professional occupations ($1.82 per hour). Cost was higher for union workers ($2.42) than for non-union workers ($0.73).

The BLS press release is  here .