Employer Costs for Compensation Rose in March

June 21, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $26.86 per hour worked in March 2006, the US Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports.
By PS

style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>Wages and salaries made up most of the costs (70.1%) and averaged $18.82, and benefits made up the other 29.9%, averaging $8.04.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>The average for legally required benefits costs, such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, was $2.16 per hour, which made up 8% of total employer compensation.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>As for other employee benefits, they averaged:

  • $1.15, or 4.3%, per hour worked for retirement and savings benefits,
  • $2.18, or 8.1%, per hour worked for employer costs for life, health, and disability insurance benefits, and
  • $1.88, or 7%, per hour worked for paid leave benefits, such as vacations, holidays, sick leave and other leave.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>Private industry employer costs were higher, at an average of $25.09 per hour worked. Wages and salaries were $17.73, or 70.7%, and benefits averaged $7.36, or 29.3%, according to the report.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>Employer costs for health benefits for sales and office occupations averaged $1.49 per hour worked, or 7.5%. Natural resources, construction and maintenance occupations averaged $2.15, or 7.7%, and production, transportation and material-moving occupations averaged $1.91, or 9%.

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”>Employer costs for union workers was significantly higher, averaging $3.52 per hour, or 10.3%, compared to costs for nonunion workers, which averaged $1.51 or 6.3%, according to the report. At $2.47 per hour worked, or 8.4% of total compensation, health benefit costs in goods-producing industries were higher than in service-providing industries, which averaged $1.54 per hour, or 6.4% of total compensation.  

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style=”MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt; mso-layout-grid-align: none”> Nationwide, costs for health benefits were lowest in the South, which averaged $1.49 per hour, and highest in the Northeast, averaging $1.92 per hour. Health care costs were $1.88 in the Midwest and $1.71 in the West, according to the report.

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