Bonus "Bump" Modest

April 24, 2001 ( -A growing practice to award employee referral, hiring, or retention bonuses will still only have a minor impact on a company's overall labor costs, a new federal study says.

The overall cost of these bonus plans amounts to no more than 2 cents per hour for any major industry or occupational grouping, said the study by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

With hourly costs for total benefits ranging from $2 to $7, an additional 1 to 2 cents should have virtually no impact on the BLS, Employment Cost Index. Government researchers use the employment index to monitor labor cost changes.

BLS officials said the tight labor market has brought heightened attention to compensation policies targeted to either attract or retain employees in occupations experiencing labor shortages.