Employers spent nearly $10 per hour on employee benefits

Employers spent an average of $30.69 per hour for employee compensation, according to March 2012 statistics reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Wages and salaries made up 69.3 percent of that number, or $21.27 an hour, while benefits made up the remaining 30.7 percent, or $9.42 an hour.

“Employer Costs for Employee Compensation,” 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.

In large metropolitan areas, total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefit costs in private industry ranged from $41.45 an hour for the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, Calif., area, to $24.12 an hour in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, Fla., metro area.

Private employer spent an average of $2.34 per hour worked for insurance benefits like health, life and disability, or 8.1 percent of total compensation. Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation averaged $2.36 per hour worked, or 8.2 percent. Paid leave, such as vacation, holiday, sick leave and personal leave, averaged $1.98 per hour or 6.9 percent of total compensation, and retirement and savings, either a defined benefit or defined contribution plan, averaged $1.02 per hour worked, or 3.6 percent. If companies offered overtime or premium shift differentials and nonproduction bonuses, those averaged 83 cents per hour worked or 2.9 percent.

Health insurance costs made up an additional $2.21 per hour worked in private industry, or 7.7 percent of total compensation in March 2012.

Employer costs for health benefits differed by occupation. Service industries paid an average of 91 cents per hour, while management, professional and related occupations paid an average of $3.32 per hour.

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