FOR RELEASE 10:00 A.M. (EDT) WEDNESDAY, JUNE 12, 2013 USDL-13-1140
(202) 691-6199 NCSinfo@bls.gov www.bls.gov/ect
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EMPLOYER COSTS FOR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION – MARCH 2013
Employer costs for employee compensation averaged $31.09 per hour worked in March 2013, the U.S.
Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Wages and salaries averaged $21.50 per hour worked and
accounted for 69.1 percent of these costs, while benefits averaged $9.59 and accounted for the
remaining 30.9 percent. Total employer compensation costs for private industry workers averaged
$29.13 per hour worked in March 2013. Total employer compensation costs for state and local
government workers averaged $42.12 per hour worked in March 2013.
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (ECEC), 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.
Insurance Benefits Data in Employer Costs for Employee Compensation
BLS discovered errors in selected insurance benefit estimates, impacting September 2012 and December 2012
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data. Additional series are subject to correction as well.
There is no impact on March 2013 estimates. Details regarding the availability of corrected data for
these reference periods can be found at www.bls.gov/bls/eci_corrections_043013.htm.
Private industry employer costs for paid leave averaged $2.01 per hour worked (6.9 percent of total
compensation), supplemental pay averaged 81 cents (2.8 percent), insurance benefits averaged $2.40
(8.2 percent), retirement and savings averaged $1.06 (3.6 percent), and legally required benefits
averaged $2.39 (8.2 percent). (See table A and table 5.)
Metropolitan area costs in private industry
Total compensation, wages and salaries, and benefit costs in private industry are included in this release
for 15 combined and metropolitan statistical areas (CSAs and MSAs). Total compensation costs for the
15 metropolitan areas ranged from $42.56 per hour worked for the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA
CSA, to $23.56 per hour worked in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA. (See chart 1
and table 15.)
Health insurance costs in private industry
The average cost for health insurance benefits was $2.26 per hour worked in private industry (7.8
percent of total compensation) in March 2013. In March 2003, employer costs for health benefits
averaged $1.41, or 6.3 percent of total compensation.
Among occupational groups, employer costs for health insurance benefits ranged from 90 cents per hour
worked and 6.3 percent of total compensation for service workers, to $3.44 and 6.7 percent of total
compensation for management, professional, and related occupations. Among other occupational
categories, employer costs for health benefits averaged $2.04 (8.9 percent of total compensation) for
sales and office occupations, lower than $2.68 (8.3 percent) for natural resources, construction, and
maintenance occupations, and $2.51 (10.1 percent) for production, transportation, and material moving
occupations. (See table 5 and chart 2.)
Employer costs for health insurance benefits were significantly higher for union workers, averaging
$5.23 per hour worked (12.9 percent of total compensation), than for nonunion workers, averaging $1.97
(7.0 percent). (See table 5.)
In goods-producing industries, health insurance benefit costs were higher, at $3.10 per hour worked (9.0
percent of total compensation), than in service-providing industries, at $2.09 (7.5 percent). (See table 6.)
Among the four regions, costs for health insurance benefits ranged from $1.92 per hour worked (7.2
percent of total compensation) in the South to $2.71 (8.1 percent) in the Northeast. Health insurance
costs were $2.40 (8.6 percent) in the Midwest and $2.25 (7.4 percent) in the West. (See table 7.)
Health insurance benefit costs increased, both in average hourly dollar amount and as a proportion of
total compensation, with establishment size. Establishments with fewer than 50 workers averaged $1.43
per hour worked (6.2 percent of total compensation); those with 50-99 workers averaged $1.93 (7.2
percent); those with 100-499 employees averaged $2.60 (8.7 percent); and those with 500 or more
employees averaged $3.81 (8.9 percent). (See table 8.)
For information on health insurance provisions, see National Compensation Survey: Employee Benefits in
the United States, March 2012, at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2012/benefits.htm.
Table A. Relative importance of employer costs for employee compensation, March 2013
Compensation Civilian Private State and local
component workers industry government
Wages and salaries 69.1% 70.3% 64.8%
Benefits 30.9 29.7 35.2
Paid leave 7.0 6.9 7.3
Supplemental pay 2.4 2.8 0.8
Insurance 9.0 8.2 12.1
Health benefits 8.6 7.8 11.7
Retirement and savings 4.7 3.6 9.0
Defined benefit 2.9 1.5 8.2
Defined contribution 1.8 2.1 0.8
Legally required 7.8 8.2 6.0
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation for June 2013 is scheduled to be released on
Wednesday, September 11, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation data on total compensation, wages and salaries, and
benefits in private industry are produced annually in the March reference period for 15 metropolitan
areas. For further information about metropolitan area ECEC estimates see: “BLS Introduces New
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation Data for Private Industry Workers in 15 Metropolitan
Areas,” at http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/cm20090921ar01p1.htm.
Historical ECEC data are available in three listings, all available at http://www.bls.gov/ect/#tables. The
earliest historical listing covers data for the March reference periods from 1986 to 2001. These data use
the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) and Census of Population occupational classification
systems. A second listing contains data for the March, June, September, and December reference periods
from March 2002 to December 2003. These data are also based on the SIC and Census of Population
occupational classification systems. The most recent listing includes data from March 2004 to the current
reference period. These are based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) systems.
Supplemental tables with occupational, establishment size, and bargaining status series by industry group
are available at http://www.bls.gov/ncs/ect/sp/ecsuphst.pdf and
Relative standard errors for all cost estimates in the most recent news release and supplementary tables
are available at ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ocwc/ect/ececrse.pdf and
Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request—
Telephone: (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: (800) 877-8339.
BLS news releases, including the ECEC, are available through an e-mail subscription service at: