Benefits and Compensation

Northeast Employers Pay the Most for Their Workers

A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examined average hourly compensation rates from March 2019 for private industry employers among the four regions of the United States. The findings show that the Northeast pays the most for its workers. Within the Northeast, New England had the highest costs and the second highest in the nation—surpassed only by the Pacific West.

Four Regions

When it comes to private industry employee compensation, the Northeast had a total average cost of $39.07, which was only marginally above the West’s $38.78. The charts below show the compensation by region separated by wages/salaries and benefit costs.

Smaller regions like New England and the Pacific West shared some of the highest overall costs at $41.13 and $41.27, respectively. Those smaller regions with the least costly compensation were the East South Central region at $27.57 and West North Central at $31.29.

Benefit Breakdowns

The report found that the most expensive benefit across the states was insurance, which averaged $2.85. The least expensive was supplemental pay, which averaged $1.12. The most expensive benefit costs in the country were found in the Northeast across virtually every benefit. The West had the cheapest benefit costs.

Overall benefit costs by region for private industry employers can be seen in this chart:

You can see the full results here: https://www.bls.gov/regions/southwest/news-release/employercostsforemployeecompensation_regions.htm.

Regional Definitions

  • Northeast region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
    • New England division: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont
  • Midwest region: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin
    • West North Central: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • South region: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia
    • East South Central: Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee
  • West region: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming, Washington
    • Pacific West: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington