Employee Benefits Costs per Employee Reached $18,358 in 2003

January 26, 2005 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employers provided an average of $18,358 in employee benefits per employee in 2003, according to an US Chamber of Commerce annual survey.

This is up slightly from the 2002 figure of $18,000, according to a press release from the group. Of the $18,358, the largest amount ($5,653) was spent on medical benefits, followed by paid time off ($4,932) and retirement and savings ($3,303).

Employee benefits costs represent 37.6% of payroll among all companies, according to the release, with manufacturing companies spending more on such benefits than non-manufacturing companies. The former spends 40.1% of total payroll on employee benefits, while the latter spends 37.1% on such benefits.

Medical benefits were the most expensive of all benefits, costing the average employer 11.6% of total payroll, according to the study.

The most common benefits offered, according to the study, were health care insurance, paid holidays, and retirement plan benefits.

“Employers are continuing to offer their workers a broad range of benefits in order to maintain a strong workforce despite the rising cost,” said Bruce Josten, Chamber executive vice president, in the press release.

The Chamber of Commerce conducts the survey annually, with over 600 companies participating in this latest edition.