In March 1998, employer costs for employee compensation averaged $18.50 per hour for private industry workers. Compensation costs for employees in white-collar occupations were $22.38 per hour, compared with $17.56 per hour for blue-collar occupations and $9.37 per hour for service occupations.
Of all white-collar occupational groups, executive, administrative, and managerial workers had the highest compensation costs at $34.37 per hour, including $25.02 for wages and $9.35 for benefits. Professional specialty and technical occupations also had high compensation costs at $29.54 per hour, $21.80 of which was for wages.
The white-collar occupations with the lowest hourly compensation costs for employers were sales ($15.56) and administrative support, including clerical ($15.83). These wage packages still were more than $6 higher than the average for service workers and about $2 less than the average for all blue-collar workers.
These data are a product of the BLS Employment Cost Trends program. Additional information is available from the bulletin, Employer Costs for Employee Compensation, 1986-98.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Highest compensation reported in white-collar occupations at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/feb/wk3/art02.htm (visited November 29, 2023).