September Employer Hourly Comp Costs were $27

December 13, 2006 ( - Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $27.31 per hour in September 2006, according to data from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

A BLS news release said wages and salaries, which averaged $19.12, accounted for 70% of these costs, while benefits, which averaged $8.18, accounted for the remaining 30%.

Employers spent on average $2.22 per hour for insurance benefits (life, health and disability), or 8.1% of total compensation. Legally required benefits, including Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, averaged $2.19 per hour (8% of total compensation), while paid leave benefits (vacations, holidays, sick leave and other leave) averaged $1.91 (7%). Retirement and savings benefits averaged $1.18 (4.3%) per hour worked, according to the government data.

Meanwhile, in the private sector in September, employer compensation costs averaged $25.52 per hour worked, the BLS said. Wages and salaries averaged $18.04 per hour (70.7%), while benefits averaged $7.48 (29.3%). Employer costs for legally required benefits averaged $2.18 (8.6%) per hour worked and cost for insurance benefits averaged $1.89 (7.4%). Costs for paid leave benefits averaged $1.73 (6.8%); retirement and savings costs averaged $0.93 cents (3.6%); and supplemental pay averaged $0.75 cents (2.9%).

Wages and salaries accounted for about the same proportion of total compensation for service employees (60.9%) and sales and office employees (62%). For management, professional and related employees, wages and salaries represented a significantly higher proportion of total compensation (70.6%).

The full September report is here .