Private Industry Comp Costs $27.64 per Hour in June

September 8, 2010 ( - Private industry employers spent an average of $27.64 per hour worked for employee compensation in June 2010, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported.

Wages and salaries averaged $19.53 per hour worked and accounted for 70.6% of these costs, while benefits averaged $8.11 and accounted for the remaining 29.4%. Total compensation costs for state and local government workers averaged $39.74 per hour worked in June 2010. 

According to BLS data, private industry employer costs for retirement and savings benefits varied by occupational group. Private industry retirement and savings benefit costs for management, professional, and related occupations were $1.89 per hour, or 3.9% of total compensation, in June 2010. Costs were lowest among service occupations, 21 cents or 1.5% of total compensation.  

Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $1.86 per hour worked (6.7% of total compensation), supplemental pay averaged 78 cents (2.8%), insurance benefits averaged $2.22 (8%), retirement and savings averaged 96 cents (3.5%) and legally required benefits averaged $2.29 (8.3%) per hour worked.  

The average cost per hour worked for defined benefit plans was 42 cents (1.5% of total compensation). The average cost for defined contribution plans was 54 cents (2% of total compensation).   

Retirement and savings costs were higher, both in amount and as a proportion of total compensation, for union workers ($2.63 and 7% of total compensation) than for nonunion workers (78 cents and 2.9% of total compensation). Defined benefit plan costs were significantly higher for union workers ($1.92 and 5.1% of compensation) than for nonunion workers (25 cents and 1% of compensation).   

Retirement and savings costs were higher per hour worked in goods-producing industries ($1.50 and 4.6% of total compensation) than in service-providing industries (85 cents and 3.2% of total compensation). Within goods-producing industries, retirement and savings costs averaged $1.68 per hour in construction and $1.30 per hour in manufacturing. Costs in service-providing industries varied widely, ranging from 11 cents in leisure and hospitality to $1.63 in the information industry.   

Retirement and savings costs increased, both in cost per hour worked and proportion of total compensation, with establishment size. Establishments with fewer than 50 workers averaged 52 cents (2.4% of total compensation) – significantly less than for establishments with 500 workers or more, averaging $1.97 (5%).  

The BLS data is here.