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.

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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.