Department of Labor Logo United States Department of Labor
Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Economic News Release
ECT XYZ Program Links

Employer Costs for Employee Compensation news release text

FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EDT) WEDNESDAY, September 19, 2018                                       USDL-11-0849

Technical information:
     (202) 691-6199
Media contact:
     (202) 691-5902

                            EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION - June 2018

     Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $30.07 per hour worked in June 2018, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.  Wages and salaries averaged $20.91 per hour worked and
accounted for 69.6 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $9.15 and accounted for the
remaining 30.4 percent.  Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged
$28.10 per hour worked in June 2018.  Total employer compensation costs for State and local government
workers averaged $40.54 per hour worked in March 2011. //ECEC Red Hat 12072021/

     Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), a product of the National Compensation Survey,
measures employer costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits for nonfarm private and State and
local government workers.

Metropolitan area costs in private industry

     Total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefit costs in private industry are included in
table 15 of this release for 15 combined and metropolitan statistical areas (CSAs and MSAs).  Total
compensation costs for the 15 metropolitan areas ranged from $41.42 for the San Jose-San Francisco-
Oakland, CA CSA, to $23.29 in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA.  (See chart 1 and table

Civilian workers

     Employer costs for civilian workers, which include private industry and State and local government
workers, averaged $2.67 per hour worked for insurance benefits (life, health, and disability
insurance), or 8.9 percent of total compensation.  In addition to insurance, the other benefit
categories were: paid leave (vacation, holiday, sick leave, and personal leave), which averaged $2.09
(7.0 percent of total compensation); supplemental pay (overtime and premium, shift differentials, and
nonproduction bonuses), which averaged 70 cents per hour worked (2.3 percent); retirement and savings
(defined benefit and defined contribution plans), which averaged $1.36 per hour (4.5 percent); and
legally required benefits (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’
compensation), which averaged $2.33 per hour worked (7.8 percent).  (See table A and table 1.)

Private industry

     Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $1.92 per hour worked (6.8 percent of
total compensation), supplemental pay averaged 76 cents (2.7 percent), insurance benefits averaged
$2.26 (8.0 percent), retirement and savings averaged $1.00 per hour worked (3.5 percent), and legally
required benefits averaged $2.31 (8.2 percent) per hour worked.  (See table A and table 5.)

Health insurance costs in private industry

     The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.12 per hour worked in private industry (7.5
percent of total compensation) in March 2011.  In March 2001, employer costs for health benefits
averaged $1.16, or 5.6 percent of total compensation.

     Among occupational groups, employer costs for health insurance benefits ranged from 91 cents per
hour worked and 6.5 percent of total compensation for service workers, to $3.17 and 6.3 percent of
total compensation for management, professional, and related occupations.  Among other occupational
categories, employer costs for health benefits averaged $1.90 (8.6 percent) for sales and office
occupations, lower than $2.47 (8.0 percent) for natural resources, construction, and maintenance
occupations, and $2.39 (10.1 percent) for production, transportation, and material moving occupations.
(See table 5 and chart 2.)

     Employer costs for health insurance benefits were significantly higher for union workers,
averaging $4.63 per hour (12.3 percent), than for nonunion workers, averaging $1.85 (6.8 percent).
(See table 5.)

     In goods-producing industries, health insurance benefit costs were higher, at $2.94 per hour (8.9
percent of total compensation), than in service-providing industries, at $1.95 per hour (7.2 percent of
total compensation).  (See table 6.)

     Among the four regions, costs for health insurance benefits ranged from $1.79 per hour in the
South to $2.49 in the Northeast.  Health insurance costs were $2.28 in the Midwest and $2.13 in the
West.  Within census divisions, hourly health benefit costs ranged from $1.72 in the West South Central
division to $2.50 in the Middle Atlantic division.  (See table 7.)

     Health insurance benefit costs increased, both in average hourly dollar amount and as a proportion
of total compensation, with establishment size.  Establishments with fewer than 50 workers averaged
$1.34 per hour worked (6.0 percent of total compensation); those with 50-99 workers averaged $1.83 (7.1
percent); those with 100-499 employees averaged $2.40 (8.4 percent); and those with 500 or more
employees averaged $3.54 (8.7 percent).  (See table 8.)

     For information on health insurance provisions, see National Compensation Survey: Employee
Benefits in the United States, March 2010, at

   Table A.  Relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation, March 2011 

Compensation                 Civilian       Private       State and local
  component                  workers        industry         government

Wages and salaries            69.6%          70.7%             65.5%
Benefits                      30.4           29.3              34.5
   Paid leave                  7.0            6.8               7.5
   Supplemental pay            2.3            2.7               0.8
   Insurance                   8.9            8.0              12.0
     Health                    8.4            7.5              11.7
   Retirement and savings      4.5            3.5               8.2
     Defined benefit           2.7            1.5               7.4
     Defined contribution      1.8            2.1               0.8
   Legally required            7.8            8.2               6.0


     Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for June 2011 is scheduled to be released on Thursday,
September 8, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).



     Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and
benefits in private industry are produced annually in the March reference period for 15 metropolitan
areas.  For further information about metropolitan area ECEC estimates see: "BLS Introduces New
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Data for Private Industry Workers in 15 Metropolitan Areas,"

     Historical ECEC data are available in three listings, all available at  The earliest historical listing covers data for the March reference
periods from 1986 to 2001.  These data use the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and Census of
Population occupational classification systems.  A second listing contains data for the March, June,
September, and December reference periods from March 2002 to December 2003.  These data are also based
on the SIC and Census of Population occupational classification systems.  The most recent listing
includes data from March 2004 to the current reference period.  These are based on the North American
Industry Classification System (NAICS) and Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) systems.

     Supplemental tables with occupational, establishment size, and bargaining status series by
industry group are available at and

     Relative standard errors for all cost estimates in the most recent news release and supplementary
tables are available at and

     Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request--
Telephone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service:  (800) 877-8339.

     BLS news releases, including the ECEC, are available through an e-mail subscription service at:


Last Modified Date: December 07, 2021