HR Management & Compliance

Compensation Costs: What Private Industry Employers Pay for Employee Compensation

The U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics revealed the costs for wages, salaries, and employee benefits for
employers nationwide as of summer 2007 in a new report. Here we review the
findings for private industry employers.


Overall Compensation

Overall, private
industry employer compensation averaged $25.93 per hour worked in June 2007 (up
from $24.71 per hour worked in December 2005), with wages and salaries
representing 70.6 percent of this figure and benefits making up the remaining
29.4 percent. With respect to benefits, employer costs for paid leave averaged
$1.77 per hour worked, supplemental pay averaged 78 cents, health and
disability insurance averaged $1.97, retirement and savings averaged 88 cents,
and legally required benefits averaged $2.21 per hour worked.


The HR Management & Compliance Report: How To Comply with California Wage & Hour Law, explains everything you need to know to stay in compliance with the state’s complex and ever-changing rules, laws, and regulations in this area. Coverage on bonuses, meal and rest breaks, overtime, alternative workweeks, final paychecks, and more.


Costs for Legally
Required Benefits Vary

The report also took a
detailed look at certain types of benefits, including legally required benefits
and paid leave.


Legally required
benefits include Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and workers’
compensation. Costs for these benefits varied by occupation, industry, whether
employees were unionized, region, and employer size. For example, the average hourly
cost for legally required benefits ranged from $1.36 for service occupations to
$3.27 for management, professional, and related occupations. What’s more, employer
costs for legally required benefits were higher for union workers, at $3.14 per
hour, than for nonunion workers, at $2.10.


By region, employers in
the West had the highest costs for legally required benefits, at $2.52 per
hour, compared to just $1.91 for the South. And broken down further into nine
regional divisions across the United
, employers here in the Pacific
division paid the most at $2.72 per hour.


Paid Leave Costs

Paid leave benefit costs
include vacations, holidays, and sick leave, as well as leave for personal
reasons, jury duty, military service, and funerals. Employer costs for these
benefits were highest for management, professional, and related occupations—coming
in at $3.93 per hour or 8.5 percent of total compensation. Service occupations
had the lowest costs, at 57 cents or 4.4 percent of total compensation.


Employer costs for paid
leave benefits were significantly higher for union workers ($2.80 per hour)
than for nonunion workers ($1.65 per hour). These costs in goods-producing
industries were higher ($1.96) than for service industries ($1.72).


Interestingly, when
looking at costs by region, employers here in the West didn’t pay the most for paid
leave benefits. The highest costs were in the Northeast, at $2.25 per hour. The
lowest were in the South, at $1.48, with the West in between at $1.88.


Access the Report

You can read the full
report online at


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