June Employer Comp Cost Averaged $24.96 Hourly

September 15, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employer costs for employee compensation in June averaged $24.96 per hour, with 70.9% of that being attributed to salary, according to the latest numbers from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Benefits account for the second highest part of the total number, with $7.26 an hour being paid by employers, according to the DoL’s National Compensation Survey. Legally required benefits – including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation – averaged $2.03 per hour, and represented the largest non-wage employer cost.

For statistics encompassing only the private sector, numbers were slightly lower, with average total cost per hour at $23.41, and average wage per hour at $16.71. Benefits, not surprisingly, made up only $6.69 per hour, over 50 cents less per hour than all sectors combined.

Also in June, average costs in the private sector for retirement saving benefits were 82 cents per hour worked. This represents 3.5% of total compensation. Defined contribution plans were slightly more expensive to maintain, with an average of 40 cents an hour going to the defined benefit plans and 42 cents going to defined contribution ones. Not surprisingly, service occupations required less cost than others, with only 18 cents per hour worked being put towards retirement and savings. For management, on the other hand, $1.53 per hour was being put towards retirement and savings.

A full copy of the report is available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/ecec.pdf .