Employer costs for legally required benefits in December 2011
March 22, 2012
Private industry employers spent an average of $28.57 per hour worked for total employee compensation in December 2011. Wages and salaries averaged $20.14 per hour worked and accounted for 70.5 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $8.43 and accounted for the remaining 29.5 percent.
The average cost for legally required benefits was $2.33 per hour worked in private industry (8.1 percent of total compensation) in December 2011. Social Security comprises the largest legally required benefit cost component at $1.34 per hour or 4.7 percent of total compensation. Legally required benefits such as Social Security and Medicare are often directly linked to wages; therefore, higher paid occupations or industries will typically show higher cost estimates for this compensation component.
Costs for other legally required benefits include workers' compensation, which averaged 41 cents per hour worked (1.4 percent of total compensation); Medicare, which averaged 33 cents (1.2 percent); state unemployment insurance, which averaged 21 cents per hour worked (0.8 percent); and federal unemployment insurance, which averaged just 2 cents per hour worked (0.1 percent).
Employer costs for legally required benefits varied by establishment size and industry. Legally required benefits costs for private industry establishments with fewer than 50 workers were $2.06 per hour worked in December 2011, compared with $2.22 for establishments with 50 to 99 employees, $2.34 for establishments with 100 to 499 employees, and $2.96 for establishments with 500 employees or more.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Employer costs for legally required benefits in December 2011 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2012/ted_20120322.htm (visited August 30, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.
Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.